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cause cannot be advanced by injustice to topic became necessary, he would take the others, whether working-men or capitalists, document out of the pigeonhole of his desk or by flying in the face of human nature. and say, "Yes, I 've been thinking that

over," and he actually thought he had been THE IMPORTANCE OF THE thinking. But he was no better qualified BANANA PEEL

then to give his decision than at the moR. HENEY, the distinguished San

ment it was first called for. He had simply

indulged himself in a timid habit of mind. cized severely the lack of patriotism of a

It is refreshing to see how promptly the man whom he overheard saying that he House of Representatives has carried out “would like to leave this country and

its proposed program of legislation, and move to England, where ‘Keep off the

whatever may be done by the Senate, there Grass' means keep off the grass,”-a sig

reason it should not be done as nificance, he said, that does not attach to

promptly. It is not to the interest of anythe phrase in America. We sympathize should pass in an inertia of neglect of pubwith Mr. Heney: the discontented Ameri

lic business. can ought to remain here and fight for the

Institutions are only men, grass, -even against Mr. Heney's willing- due to the determination of a few mem

and that any legislation is accomplished is ness to destroy Hetch Hetchy Valley. But we regret that Mr. Heney did not also say body of legislators at work in the prompt

bers. It is of course surprising to see a that the man had hit the target exactly: and orderly methods of a board of railway that the fundamental difficulty we have is to obtain respect for law as a principle,

or bank directors, but when this occurs, it Nor is this an academic question. In all our

does not behoove a coördinate branch to cities it is one of great practical impor

"plead surprise," as the lawyers say. The tance. Take, for instance, the unre

questions at issue have not been sprung strained littering of the streets with paper

upon anybody. Both representatives and and banana peels. To object to this, while,

senators have been considering them for every day burglaries and murders are being

years. Elaborate committee hearings are committed, seems to many an undue

not for the purpose of satisfying the legisanxiety about the anise and cummin of

lator so much as satisfying the public, and good government. They do not see the

permitting those concerned to "blow off

steam." value of enforcing public cleanliness not only for itself but as a discipline in obedi

The lawmaker, if he is wide-awake and

man of affairs, has been considering But what is the effect, present and re

the leading questions in many ways -in mote, upon the newly arrived immigrant

reading, in conversation, in investigation, to say nothing of the more settled popu

- and while he must keep himself openlation-of seeing that laws are not made

minded to the last, he should have large to be enforced ?

sources of judgment on all current topics.

Sometimes dilatory tactics for the defeat PUTTING THINGS THROUGH

of an obnoxious measure are allowable, IN CONGRESS

and, moreover, with regard to unobnox

ious measures there is safety in a multiE once heard of a man of business tude of counselors. What we are speak

whose main principle was never to ing of is the pigeonholing of measures for trust the judgment of the moment. Pro- sheer lack of willingness to make prompt crastination was to him the chief of vir- decisions, such as one has a right to expect tues. To-morrow's opinion was always from mature minds. What is certain is better than to-day's. Present to him a that the postponement of many questions letter or a memorandum on a matter of till the very close of a session has given us importance, and he would say, "Yes, I 'll not well-considered, but really hasty legisgive it careful consideration," and straight- lation. If Raw Haste be half-sister to way would put aside the document, actu- Delay, then Delay may be assumed to be ally believing that something had been ac- half-brother to Raw Haste. complished by the process of filing it, Within little more than six weeks of the When the necessity of dealing with the extra session the House of Representatives

a

ence to

WE

has passed five measures of importance: with pen and pencil were many and variThe Canadian Reciprocity Resolution, ous, the five pillars in Thackeray's hall of the Free List Bill, the Publicity of Cam- fame are “Vanity Fair," "Pendennis,” paign Expenses Bill, the Bill to submit the “Henry Esmond," "The Newcomes," and Constitutional Amendment for the Di- “The Virginians”; and they seem built rect Election of Senators, and the resolu- of indestructible material-material that tion to admit New Mexico and Arizona laughs at the capricious winds and storms as States of the Union. Whatever may be of public applause and public scorn, that the judgments of the Senate on these mea- defies even those more dangerous foes, the sures, the country has a right to expect that boring moth of neglect and the corrupting they will be made with no unnecessary rust of years. The supply of this building delay.

material seems exceedingly limited, though In no administration since the Civil it is diligently sought for by all literary War has there been so nearly a continu- architects except those who cater for a ous session of Congress as in Mr. Taft's. short summer season, and whose reputaThis is a source of enormous expenditure, tion is like breath on a mirror. Of the and we believe the country would welcome dozen names, from De Foe to De Morgan, shorter periods of legislative work, and that have made English fiction illustrious, these can be brought about only by more he would be a bold critic that should place businesslike methods.

any above Thackeray. For he excelled The watchword of our commercial in both the great divisions of the novel -world to-day is Efficiency; before long it realism and romanticism. In “Pendennis" must become that of our law-makers. and “Vanity Fair” he gave us permanent

and truthful pictures of English life and

English character; in “Esmond” he wrote THE THREEFOLD POWER OF

what is probably the greatest historical THACKERAY

romance in our tongue. In the last HE centenary of Thackeray, which analysis, the highest distinction of Thack

occurs July 12, has attracted eray is not found in his “fable," or in his paratively little attention--nothing like style, or in his thought, but in the persons the popular interest already aroused by the of his imagination into whom he has centenary of his great contemporary, Dick- breathed the breath of life. These people, ens, still half a year away. This is natu- immense in variety, are all real people, and ral, and in harmony with the kind of they are real because they exhibit the marpopularity attained by each of these men vel and the curse of humanity, the astonof genius. We may find a parallel in the ishing mixture of good and evil. To know United States, where the centenary of them intimately is to know life. Longfellow was celebrated everywhere, Besides the divine power of creation while the hundredth birthday of Haw- which inspired Thackeray, he enjoyed to a thorne passed almost unobserved. To be high degree the less rare faculty of critisure, Hawthorne had the bad luck to be cism, the criticism of men and the critiborn on the fourth of July.

cism of books. This was developed early It is rather curious how often great in his life by his skill and practice with writers appear in pairs, and are forced by the crayon, for he was a born artist in the reading public into the false position caricature. A large amount of his thirof rivals. This is true not only of Thack- teen solid volumes consists of critical work, eray and Dickens, but of Richardson and sometimes in the shape of formal literary Fielding, Goethe and Schiller, Tennyson essays, sometimes in the more charming and Browning, Hardy and Meredith, manner of firelight conversation, reminisLongfellow and Whittier, Hauptmann cence, and speculation. His lectures, and Sudermann, Björnson and Ibsen, which delighted American audiences on Turgenieff and Tolstoi. There is, how- two memorable journeys, naturally exhibit ever, an advantage to such double stars in some of the range of his reading and the our intellectual firmament in the stimulus extent of his sympathies. But the real given to general discussion and analysis of charm of these disquisitions on Swift, their respective claims to immortality. Sterne, and the four Georges, lies almost

Although Thackeray's achievements wholly in the revelation of their maker's

THE

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personality. It was the author of "Vanity struck redoubtable blows at sin, whether Fair" that filled the halls in New York, it appeared in uniform or in disguise. He Boston, Savannah, and St. Louis; but as cheerfully sacrifices the canons of art to the crowd passed into the night, they car- drive home a moral idea. Never was a ried away to their homes the memory of a man more ineptly called a cynic; for his big, lovable man. He closed the first nature was the exact opposite: he was an series in New York by saying, "I may arch-sentimentalist. His life was filled with quarrel with Mr. Dickens's art a thousand and a thousand times, I delight and

little, nameless, unremembered acts wonder at his genius; I recognize in it- Of kindness and of love. I speak with awe and reverence-a commission from that Divine Beneficence Some one has said that the function of rewhose blessed task we know it will one ligion is to add zest to life. Perhaps there day be to wipe every tear from every never lived a man who got more fun out eye. Thankfully I take my share of the of good deeds. In 1853, a writer in “Putfeast of love and kindness which this nam's Magazine” said that the popular gentle, and generous, and charitable soul notion of Thackeray before his arrival was has contributed to the happiness of the that of a scoffer and sneerer; but that, world."

after he was known, he convinced all of Thackeray was not only a great crea- his intellectual integrity; "there is no man tive artist and a notable critic; he was a more humble, none more simple.” Whattremendous moral force. He was not con- ever in the future may be thought of his tent with finding sermons in stones; he work, no matter how high his genius may thrust them into all his books. He was be rated, it is now abundantly clear that always on the side of the angels, and his character was as great as his mind.

OPEN LETTERS

ON A CERTAIN KIND OF TABLE-TALK
Being a Remonstrance Offered by Miss Agatha Reynolds to her Unoffending

Friend Mrs. Felix Mackenzie
No, Sara dear, I am

relations with our not going to dine with

nourishment was held you, nor with any one

to be a topic unfit else, until I am ro

for polite conversabustly capable of din

tion. The nearest ing. I know that you

approach to it I can are ready to soften

remember was when the brilliant iniquities

dear old Dick Chisof your table to meet

holm (who died of my limitations, and I

gout like a gentleman know that you are

thirty years ago) able to surround me

gave me the menu of with fellow-sufferers;

a supper he had eaten but a dinner-party is one thing, and a clinic at Wallace Rendle's two weeks before. is another, and the combination does n't suit “Now, that was n't a heaven-defying supmy taste. You see, I was brought up in an per, was it?" he asked, with his queer, age which talked a great deal about food un- twisted smile, made up of fun and pain. til it was eaten, and about drink until it was “Yet I have n't crawled into the sunshine drunk, but which preserved a decent silence since.” as to what happened afterward. Our personal But in these well-informed days my neighbors at table seem to know just what effect when Mrs. Butcher, who felt that her each and every article of food will have chalky deposits had been slighted, said she upon each and every part of their anatomy, did not care what any New York doctor and they enlighten me concerning their most said; she knew that uncooked food was bad intimate processes of digestion. Their or- for gout. Why, if she ate an apple, which gans, specially their organs which happen was the least acid of fruits, she was sure to be out of order, are discussed with the to feel it in her fingers the next day. Whereunseemly freedom of a patent-medicine ad- upon Amy, thinking perhaps that it was vertisement. Last week I lunched with Amy her duty as hostess to fall in with the huMiddleton. Alice' Alison opened the ball mor of her guests, suddenly remarked that by asking Mrs. Tom Butcher if Dr. Phil- apples were the most indigestible things the lips allowed her to eat grape-fruit. You earth produced. If she ate the smallest see, we made an early start. Mrs. Butcher piece of one, it went nowhere at all, at least might have said yes or no, and closed the sub- nowhere that it should have gone. It hung, ject; instead of which she plunged raptu- like Mohammed's coffin, in space, and she rously into her diet, and her chalky deposits, felt the pressure for hours. and other things too disagreeable to mention. Now, Sara, I give you my word of honor That started Miss Sedgewick (you know her that I am not exaggerating. And I do think --Tom Sedgewick's aunt, and fearfully such conversations odious. Have we outstout), and she told us about three separate grown the false shame we used to feel at dietaries which had been made out for her in being ill at all, only to wallow unreservedly a year, one by her Philadelphia doctor, one by in our symptoms? Sometimes the wallowher doctor in Carlsbad, and one by a Viennese ing is really comic. I mean when people gout specialist, and which apparently did not who do it are quick-witted enough to see have a single item in common. I thought that the comedy. The other afternoon I asked rather funny, but the humor of the situa- my niece to hand a cup of tea to an elderly tion was marred by Miss Sedgewick's pa- visitor, and the child said reproachfully: thetic endeavor to recall which of the three “Oh, Aunt Agatha, don't interrupt me! I doctors had said she might eat potatoes. She have just found somebody new to whom was still struggling over that point when I can tell my diet." This is the blessed Katharine Kenyon swept the ground from gaiety of youth which gilds even the docunder her faltering feet by announcing that tor's pill; but if the rising generation bea wonderful new man in New York--some- gins dieting at nineteen, I shall be glad to body who treated gout and rheumatism, be spared the conversations of the future. and nothing else-had told her she might Meanwhile I 'll sip my gruel at home, and eat anything she pleased, provided that she confide my ailments to my physician, whose touched no stimulant. Alcohol in any form duty it is, and whose pleasure it ought to was fuel to the Aame, and it arrested, in- be, to hear them. I am like the old grumstead of hastening, as we used to think, the bler in “Robert Elsmere” who said, “In process of absorption. Katharine rather my youth, people talked about Ruskin; now wanted to explain to us just what the pro- they talk about drains." cess of absorption meant, and had gotten as

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Your affectionate friend, far as the solvent action of her gastric juice

Agatha Reynolds.

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TO A SENIOR IN A QUANDARY
Being a Sympathetic Consideration of a Common and Depressing Experience

more.

I am

My dear Nephew:

I am not surprised to hear from you in the vein of your letter of May 20. only surprised that you should have left the writing of it so late in your academic course.

The fact is that this is the fourth letter which I have received from a member of your class asking my advice as to his life-work. I think you need not consider yourself singular in the fact that although you have devoted yourself to your university work, as I believe, with fair, if not too blameworthy, conscientiousness, you find yourself no nearer to a decision on this subject in

your senior year than you were as a sopho

I doubt if two thirds of your class, or of any other university class, have made

up

their minds. The tendencies of college at the present time are not calculated to awaken in a man a distinct desire to go into this or that profession, and one must have a very decided bent early in the course to lead him to shape his work and studies to a definite purpose. So far from taking a conceited view of his position as a graduate, the average man is usually hamstrung by humility, and has his moments of desperate wandering by the canal, considering whether, after all, it has not been a

LXXXII-57

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terrible mistake, this going to college. He ceive from recently graduated young men, finds himself, in Emerson's words,

a very small proportion of whom could be Amid the Muses . . . deaf and dumb;

provided for in these lines of business, even Amid the gladiators, halt and numb.

if every position were made vacant for them.

My suggestion may prove more practicaBut I think you should not consider your ble than at first appears. It is this: You time thrown away by reason of the fact that have formed very strong friendships in colafter four years you are no nearer to what lege, as I judge from the fact of your elecis conventionally required of a man of tion to two societies and from the number twenty-two. You may well be without a of fine fellows whom I have met at your decided leaning toward the law or literature mother's house during vacations. Should or medicine or even finance without being you find among these friends two or three on that account any the less a cultivated others who are in a similar quandary, would man, since you have a mind capable of ad- it not be worth while for you to consider justment to any work it may have to do. the organization of a joint-stock company Don't make a mistake: a college education for the purpose of helping one another to a -presuming you have n't forgot to get one firmer foothold in life? In other things be- will make you fitter for any sort of work. sides hunting burglars, two or three timidi

It is n't perhaps the fault of the univer- ties may make a total of boldness. Could sity that you find yourself in this situation,

you not undertake something together, not --though it might well give fuller considera- exactly as purse-companions, but as parttion to the subject,-and 'the fact that you ners? For example, could you not raise are not in robust health makes it all the

enough money to buy or lease land in the more desirable that you should have the as- Northwest for a fruit ranch? Whatever sistance of your friends in working out might be your individual weakness or something practical at this time. How sym- strength, it would be supplemented or utilpathetically and how wisely your father ized by some quality in your comrades. And would have dealt with your dilemma! I

your pride and your mutual obligations remember how he loved and helped young would spur you to your best. If the experipeople. He was very different from a wo- ment should not prove a great success durman I knew who, during Jack Llewellyn's ing the first year, you would all have had apprentice-time, when he was hard at work at least a twelvemonth of vigorous outdoor at his writing and needed all the encour- life, a touch of reality and experience in agement of family and friends, kept say- dealing with various kinds of men, a better ing, "Why does n't he take a salaried knowledge of the resources of your country, position and earn a living ?" I hope she has and the time and opportunity to work out forgotten this, now that Jack has made his something else for yourselves. This last may "hit" and more than a competence.

seem to you rather poor consolation, but Well, I have a suggestion for you. No, sometimes the pause before the active work it is n't that you should "take to ink.” of life is as important as an interval in music. When you 've something to say, you 'll have I've spoken of the fruit ranch, almost at plenty of opportunity to be heard. And random; no doubt you could hit upon someeven if you were ready for the literary life, thing else. The point is, to give reality to you could

pursue

that with the smallest ma- comradeship. What is the value of all the terial equipment-only pen, ink, and paper. four years of college intimacies-to the culUnless you have to, don't rush into that tivation of which so much of scholarship is crowd. Usually the weeks about commence- sacrificed--if in such an emergency it canment-time are busy ones for the editors and not be drawn upon to advantage you all? publishers of this country by reason of the

Affectionately yours, large number of applications which they re

Walter Cripplegate.

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