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Books As I See Them

I

By KATE SANBORN

Once in a while a man or woman whose we see woeful pictures; we hear the oaths heart and brain are on fire from realiza- and brutal orders of the overseers; we tion of hideous wrongs endured by some listen to a mother's moaning plea when race, class, or sect, writes out the facts not allowed to go to her dying baby in the studied at close range; a shocking revela- dreary place called home; we watch the girl tion. And we, self engrossed cumberers scarcely fifteen, shrieking in anguish, forof the ground (in comparison with those bidden to leave her work and actually who give their lives for others) wonder, forced to give birth to a child on the floor, sigh, possibly shed a few sentimental tears surrounded by a crowd of men, women and wish that the generous Plutocrats, in- and children! Unspeakable sins are daily stead of endowing colleges and building habits under such environment; boys of libraries, would turn the current of their ten are vilely diseased; girls are unmarbenevolence in other directions.

ried mothers as soon as this horror is posWhen Robert Hunter, the earnest Settle- sible. The common diseases of childhood, ment worker, stated that eighty thousand usually so far from fatal, sweep away by children went without proper breakfast

thousands the half starved children. Betevery morning in New York City he raised ter far that they do go. a storm of doubt, derision, criticism in the

"It is good when it happens," say the minds of the sleek, self satisfied, overfed readers: What a preposterous exaggera

children,

“That we die before our time." tion! The man's mind must be affec:ed less drunkards who waste their wives' The stories of want and suffering are There was so much excitement, as there too sad to hint at. No one seems to say always is when a loathsome sore is touched much about the irresponsible fathers of on the raw, that Mr. John Spargo, a man these wretched waifs, who really ought to of great experience in such matters, noť share the responsibility! Many are worthgiven to wild statements, volunteered to by overwork in those dreadful slums. investigate the facts. His inquiry was wages; others are deserters when their searching and his study of the distressing own offspring are too numerous for their problem is now offered in book form, as comfort; many are diseased; few get more “The Bitter Cry of the Children.” Mac- than six dollars a week. The deeper the millan Company, $1.50.

search, the more discouraged you become. It is an appalling mass of proof, black as Do you decry a gleam of hope the Malmidnight, more horrible in its directness thusian dream of restricting the family to than any nightmare dream of suffering, such a number as can be cared for? where every thing is wrong and no way

That is as Utopian as attempting conto better it. He shows that inadequate

trol of a tidal wave. Love, passion, ani. food supply and lack of pure air are the

malism will have their way. So, these primary causes of such high mortality thousands of undesired victims must come rates among the children of the very poor, into life and should be well fed and resfor Nature usually gives a healthy body at

cued. the start, at least while the mother is suf- But how? After accompanying this ficiently nourished. Dr. Vincent declares missionary on his rounds, you do not want food to be much more important than sani- to sit still and moralize, regretting that tary conditions. Few have any conception

such thi are as they are; you will perof the overpowering burdens borne by the haps rise to a sense of personal duty, not laboring child in our mo 'ern Moloch, our a member of a fashionable guild or industrial system. These piteous little even as a slummer. No wonder that mermartyrs seldom complain or cry; that is ciful women nurses advise chloroforming the most heart harrowing view of it to infants at birth when there is nothing beme: they are so crushed, diseased, be- fore them but torture and tragedies. But numbed, hopeless, exhausted that they do what can be done? They have been trying not realize their condition.

the experiment of providing meals for poor Through Mr. Spargo's burning words children in the public schools of London

as

and it is found that those who most need the food are not those who are sent.

if they don't firt, they appear to, which is just as well."

Being a thorough musician herself and accustomed to listening to only the best masters, she was nearly driven to tears by the pianola. "There was something exasperatingly perfect in the sound. An imitation artist steered the music and pumped in the expression at the proper place, while the indefatigable instrument ejected miles of punctured paper.

You can be a Paderewski while you wait, but thank heaven! no ingenious American has yet invented a mechanical Joachim!

This book needs no praise; it is sure to have a tremendous success. John Lane Company, The Bo ley Head, London and New York.

It is a relief after this to turn to the brilliant chat of an exceptionally clever and versatile woman; Mrs. John Lane of London, wife of the publisher and daughter of Julius Eichberg, the master violinist of Boston å score of years ago.

“The Champagne Standard” is a fitly named book in several ways: this is her explanation of it. “There is nothing in the modern world so absolutely real and convincing and universal as its pretence. It has set itself a standard of aims and of living which can best be described as the Champagne Standard. To live up to this standard, you have to put your best foot foremost, and that foot is usually a woman's. It is the women who have set the champagne standard. Nothing else so accurately describes the insincere, pretentious and frothy striving after one's private unattainables. It is aspiration turned sour.”

So few also dare omit champagne at a formal dinner, although they can ill afford it. This interesting woman certainly shows none of the primness, reserve and frigidity assumed by humorists to belong to Boston women; on the contrary she is like champagne herself, effervescent, sparkling, exhilarating London Pommery!

All the literary reviewers of London are enthusiastic in their praise and several editions have already been exhausted. Yet Mrs. Lane hesitates never; her frankness is illumined and sugar coated by genuine New England humor. · She recounts her own experiences in a foreign land in such an amusing way that no one can possibly take offence. Can this enviable, inimitable "way” be called “Hub Punch”? I particularly enjoy and endorse what she says about full evening dress for mature women who at fifty have either too much bust development, or are forced to exhibit themselves as bony horrors !

Listen to what she writes from the depths of experience, about dress. "What a social comfort a hat is! It gives one so much moral courage. It is less terrible to encounter society in a hat; one can take refuge in it from the coldest blast. But in the evening, garlanded with roses and deserted, so to speak, by God and man, society is a trial. There is no greater martyrdom for the middle aged than baring their shoulders to the bitter air and transporting them to an evening function, to shiver for n instant in the smile of the hostess, and then subside against the wall, while the young and ardent flirt about with members of the other sex; or

The Conquest of Arid America has found its faithful historian in William E. Smythe, who has been intensely earnest regarding the subject from the beginning of the work in 1889. Every one who cares for the best interests of his country should rejoice over the constant progress, the marvellous achievements, the splendid success of the attempt to make the desert not only blossom like the rose but rich in crops, fruit, trees; attractive for home seekers. The stories of the labors read like fairy tales and the pictures of before and after, sometimes with but two years of water, seem like a miracle. I will give but one quotation, but it tells the whole result.

“Nowhere are there sharper contrasts than that which is presented by these green and fruitful farms, gleaming like islands of verdure upon the brown bosom of the far-stretching plain, which have been seared by the hot breath of rainless winds. The uses of the artificial reservoirs are not limited to irrigation; they are usually stocked with fish, which multiply with surprising rapidity and enable the farmer to include this item of home produce in his bill of fare every day in the vear. These fish are very tame, and in some cases actually trained to respond to the ringing of the dinner bell, coming in scurrying shoals to fight for crumbs of bread thrown upon the water. The reservoirs also yield a profitable crop of ice in the winter. The Starvation Belt has become a Land of Plenty:.” The Macmillan Company, $1.50.

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President Ilyde of Bowdoin College, with a wide experience of twenty years among college students, gives in straightforward, practical style his views on the various themes connected with that life; such a sensible and common

sense book

a

combustible materials were used as torches to illuminate the darkness of the night. The emperor mingled with the populace in the dress and attitude of a charioteer.”

As before we are given accurate history, splendid pictures, vivid character sketches; some of the lines are beautiful poetry, the dialogue is wonderfùlly done in excellent verse, and above all the barbaric glory of color! An English critic well says, “It blends the fragrance of rose leaves with the scent of blood.” Macmillan Company, $1.25.

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and not destitute of keen perceptions and playful humor. The volume opens with letters home and to the best girl in different periods of a student's development. These are brilliantly done; his positive omniscience gradually tones down to reasonable lookout on life and at last he sums up his inner experiences as “Naturalness, Selfishness, Self-Sacrifice and SelfRealization." He owns that the great majority of men go through college, as the great majority go through life, without getting beyond the first or second stage, and graduate as Matthew Arnold says most men die, “Unfreed, having seen nothing, still unblest."

This ability to rapidly change one's opinions is something to be thankful for. As John Burroughs said when shown an eagle's feather dropped in flight, “That eagle moulted the feather because he is growing a better one."

How wise President Hyde is, we see by his tolerance and optimism. “The attempt to regulate pleasure and amusement by rule is mischievous and futile. The attitude of many good people towards cards and billiards, the theatre and the dance, is a concession to the devil of things that are altogether too good for him to monopolize. Against opera or drama no lover of his fellows has a word to say."

His advice to the college girl is also especially fine. Houghton, Mifflin and Company, $1.50.

The six best selling books just now in New York: A Maker of History, The Wheel of Life, The House of Mirth, The Man of America, The House of a Thousand Candles and The Truth About Tolna.

I have asked several of the leading publishing houses to tell me what new books deserve especial mention this month in the NEW ENGLAND MAGAZINE. Here is the list.

Macmillan Company: The Life of Wesley, by Professor C. T. Winchester. Volume one of a History of the Inquisition of Spain, by Dr. Henry Charles Lea. Life of Lord Randolph Churchill, by Winston Spencer Churchill. Salve Venetia! Gleanings from Venetian History, by F. Marion Crawford. Nero, by Stephen Phillips.

Houghton, Mifflin and Company: The Evasion, by Eugenia Brooks Frothingham. The Clammer, by William J. Hopkins. What is Religion? And Other Student Questions, by Henry S. Pritchett. The College Man and The College Woman, by William De Witt Hyde, President of Bowdoin College.

Doubleday. Page and Company: The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair. The Wheel of Life, by Miss Glasgow. Dixie After the War, by M. L. Avary. The Spur, by G. B. Lancaster.

Little, Brown and Company: The Sage Brush Parson, by A. B. Ward. Old Washington, by Harriet Prescott Spofford.

Another poetical drama from Stephen Phillips; this time the subject is Nero, that "homicidal lunatic,” self-obsessed, steeped in almost nauseating luxuries, fancying he could act, or sing, or charm with his mediocre music. Gibbon gives a picture of one of his beastly revels. “The Christians died in torments, and their torments were embittered by insult and derision. Some were nailed on crosses; others were sewn up in the skins of wild beasts, and exposed to the fury of dogs; others smeare l over with

The National Society of N. E. Women

BY MISS E. MARGUERITE LINDLEY AND

MISS JUANITA LELAND

The club year is nearing its end; and it a similar feast and as the brief press notice would seem that the National Society and had mentioned that Miss Amy Murray, Colonies had reserved the best of every- with new material gathered during last thing for the last were it not that interests summer in the Outer Hebrides, was to enof so satisfactory a nature have so gener- tertain the Society, the seats filled rapidly. ally prevailed throughout the year. The The taking title, “The true edge of the weather has been sweetly lenient toward great world," roused conjecture; and neighborhood functions and one

could when the officers entered, accompanied by almost consider tales of suffering from a slender woman in a white robe with a cold in early New England as legendary. tartan scarf gracefully draped over her But March has methods of her own and shoulders, the applause was quick and —for New York, at least-crowded all cordial. Miss Murray carried her clair

schach, a model of the one used by Mary Queen of Scots, and all eyes were drawn to its polished carving and antique form. During the program Miss Murray explained that there were only four of the original harps in existence, and that the one used by Queen Mary was in the Royal Museum in Edinburgh.

Mrs. Homer Irvin Ostrom, the Chairman of the Literary Committee, said in her introduction that the audiences had been led during the season from Japan to Isle la Motte on Lake Champlain, and now would become acquainted, through Miss Murr"y'guidance, through the songs and sayings from "The true edge of the great world," with the humor, pathos and broad humanity of the folk of the Hebrides.

Miss Murray then gave the following program to a delighted and enthusiastic audience :- Part I: Old Hebridean Songs with accompaniment upon the clairschach; Ailein Dnina (song of Flora MacDonald) : Mairi Bhoid heach (Lovely Mary); Oran na Soneoraich (Song of the Thrush); Oran nah Uiseag (Song of the Lark); and

Liathag (Tangle Rhyme), the last three MRS. GEORGE F. RALPH

were child songs from Eriskay; Oran nah

Eiclo Wiesge (Song of the Water-horse). PRESIDENT OF COLONY NINE

Part II: Old Scottish Songs with ac

companiment on the pianoforte. Charlie that she had held in reserve of winter into is my darling, Hey, Johnnie Cope, (Songs the 19th. The storm above and stress be- of 45); My Heart is Sair, The Deil cam' low was something that dwellers in our Fiddlin' thro' the Toun (songs of Robert metropolis will never forget.

Burns); I Know My Love by His Way of But the 20th smiled on cleared side- Walking (Irish song from Donegal); The walks and piled roadways. At Delmonico's Twa Sisters o' Binnorie (old ballad), and early in the afternoon came eager groups The Barrin' o' the Door (narrative song). of club women and their guests ready for The old Hebridean songs are unique and the treat prepared for them by the Liter- of deeper interest to the students of folk ary Committee of the National Society of songs. Miss Murray often translated a New England Women. The two preceding Gaelic phrase, and in the child songs gave literary programs had whetted appetite for the meaning of the little rhymes. Her

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imitation of the wild laugh of the girlie who sang them to her was irresistible. The child was full of wondering glee that what she had always croone ! was music. “I never knew that I was singing.” “Charlie is my Darling" and "Hey, Johnnie Cope," were electric. “I know my Love by his way of walking,” was sung by request, and is an entirely new and characteristic Irish song.

“The Twa Sisters" is a most picturesque form of the old ballad of two sisters courted by the same knight; the jealous murder of the younger by the elder, the finding of the body, and the harper's stringing his harp with its golden hair, the weird harp strings telling through song in her father's hall of her death at the hands of her sister. Mr. Wark was the accompanist on the piano. Miss Murray made a charming picture at the clairschach as she played and sang. The members an l friends of the New England Society are feeling that the literary meetings are a leading feature of the club season. We are indebted to Mrs. Homer J. Ostrom for the report of this most interesting meeting.

esting and original paper on "Harriet Beecher Stowe" was written for the day by Mrs. Jennie Robbins Smead. Mrs. Frances W. Graham, State W. C. T. U. president, was a special guest and sang several times clearly and charmingly Each member of Colony 2 was privileged to invite a guest and many friends were present, among

them Mrs. Frank J. Shuler, president Western New York Federation of Women's Clubs, who gave a word of greeting from the Federation to the New England Women. The most distinctive entertainment which has been given in the history of the Colony is the Loan Exhibit of New England relics, held during the week ending March ioth. A candy and cake sale was a feature of the entertainment together with a talk on old china and a musical program.

The first year book edited by the Colony is completed and each member is happy in possessing a copy of same. The year is nearly ended All is well in Colony 2prosperity reigneth therein."

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was

Another function of social interest was “Colony Day," celebrated on the 29th at the home of Mrs. Fitch James Swinburne. The officers of the Parent Society and all of the Colonies, together with the members of the Colony Committee were invited; about one hundred responded in person, or bv proxy, and as many more by regrets.

The affair was purely social. No progrun interrupting the various groups of conversationalists and the two hours proved too short for the desired acquaintances to be made. The dining room

as usual on such occasions, wondrously attractive, though strictly New England delicicies

110t dispensed-but everywhere. as characterizes Mrs. Swinburne's entertainments, the true spirit of cordial hospitality prevailed. A particularly beautiful piece of Aowers consisted cf a solid bank of red and white tulips.

The Parert Society are exceedingly regretful that in one

month their charming president, Mrs. George T. Stevens, retires from the chair. She has endeared all hearts to her and has presided always in a graceful and genial manner. holding up the attributes for which the Society stands. The Colonies are progressing finely in numbers and interests are growing in a substantial way.

were

Montclair, Colony 3. held its annual meeting on Thursday, March 22d, at the residence of Mrs. Schoonmaker, 84 Fullerton ave. S. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Presi 'ent, Mrs. H. C. Newell; first vice president, Mrs. W. G. Frost; second vice president, Mrs. Frederick B. Lovejoy; recording secretary, Mrs. Charles W. Royce; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Merwin Rice; treasurer, Mrs. Francis S. Foote; assistant treasurer, Mrs. John McGhie; managers, Mrs. Edward P. Mitchell, Mrs. Charles Whiting Baker and Mrs. E. G. Hovey. During the past year money, to maintain a district nurse and meet other expenses of the club was raised in three ways. Early in the year wooden boxes were sent out to the members, requesting them to collect all the money they could in any way they chose. After six months they were called in and it was found that

two hundred dollars had been collected in this way.

A musicale was hel! in December which netted another two hundred and a euchre party was given on the evening of Washington's birthday, from which one hundred and sixty dollars was cleared. The trained nurse supported by the Colony charges a fee where patients are able to pay, though usually it is very small, and over two hundred dollars came in from this source; all of which, with the dues of the eighty members, gave an income for the vear of over nine hundred dollars. Miss Lawrence, the nurse, is a graduate of Grace Hospital, Toronto. She has made her work a success far beyond the expectations of the most sanguine. Fif

over

more

Mrs. D. Frederic Potter, presi 'ent of Colony 2. Buffalo, sends the following: “This Colony held the regular March meeting on Thursday, the 8th. A very inter

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