Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

the hero accepts the conditions, and having a long score to settle with English monks and priests, he naturally gravitates towards Luther when he finds himself in his neighborhood, and thenceforward the story is Luther's plus some fighting with English rivals and German Catholic noblemen, and glimpses of Ulrich von Hutten. Dr. Martin befriends Lady Elfrida in every way possible to one who carries no sword; and the hero and heroine leave him safe at Wartburg and go to England to find Henry much better than his word, and so the tale ends well. It is a good love tale and its historical part is well-managed and uncommonly free from the bitterness to be expected in a story of the Reformer. E. P. Dutton & Co.

strangle it, but was itself blighted and withered by the frost of Gilbert's jest and Du Maurier's art. Less obvious, and far more artistic than the portrait sketch of Wilde introduced by Mr. Hichens in "The Green Carnation," he presents the natural development of Wilde's philosophy, cruel, repellant and disgusting, but always intent upon elegance. With such a group of personages and such incidents, the book would be unbearably painful, were it not that both girls have been educated by good teachers who have so trained their minds and hearts that they are able to break the meshes entangling them, and to save their souls alive. It must be owned that they discourse at enormous length and that their husbands are unnaturally tolerant of their eloquence, but the fault is easily tolerated inasmuch as they have something to say. "The Long Gallery" is equally remarkable in its English and in its personages. Henry Holt & Co.

Miss Eva Lathbury's "The Long Gallery," superficially, is the English family romance in which mother and daughter pursue the possible wealthy husband, not altogether willingly, not quite shamelessly, but in obedience to the instinct of self-preservation, the daughter almost invariably atoning for her sin against love by falling into utter misery, the mother often discovering that she has overreached herself and made herself the permanent prey of remorse. In reality the book is a subtle study of varied selfishness, as seen in the lives of four married pairs, and one unmated baleful figure, abandond to unchecked self-worship. One girl desperately separates the man whose fortune she desires and the girl to whom he is beginning to turn, and flings her to a richer husband, from whom she is easily won by a man who also deceives the schemer, and almost succeeds in making a chaos of her life and her husband's. This villain is no simple Don Juan, but the perfect flower of that spurious æstheticism, that parasite of the wholesome Ruskin-Morris movement, which for a time bade fair to

The world belongs to him who will convince it of his perfect stupidity, but although everybody knows it, nobody remembers it until the gross of green spectacles are in his pocket, until he has invested his last penny in the dearly bought whistle: until the swamp-lots of Eden are his to settle at will, and the professed stupid person is o'er the border and awa'. The hero of Mr. Edward A. Balmer's "Waylaid by Wireless" was no wiser than the rest of the world, but possibly he was more excusable because in his case the stupidity exhibited for his undoing was of that English variety in which the reader of American comic newspapers and international novels devoutly believes as generic. Therefore did this young American allow himself to be played with every grace of the gentle art of angling, reckoning each new cast and fly as a national trait, and obligingly doing the angler's will,

esteeming himself an acute reader of character all the while, yet he was by no means a dull fellow. On the contrary, both he and the heroine are acute in their reasoning, discreet and able, and guilty of nothing more foolish than excessive trust in accepted generalities, and upon the whole they are as interesting a pair of modern lovers as American fiction has furnished for many a day. The author's management of wireless, the machinery of his story, is excellent, and, although actual occurrences have verified some of his theories as to its possibilities, very slight acquaintance with the exigencies of writing, making and publishing a book will show that he owes nothing to the recent notorious cases of its employment, but was himself the architect of his hero's varied fortunes. The story should be in the library of all passenger steamships plying between English and American ports, that passengers may be warned of the dangers besetting him who ventures into the lair of the British police, and it is good enough to console the home keeping youth for the homeliness of wit arising from persistent or enforced sojourn in his native land. Small, Maynard & Co.

This being a world in which prejudices and baseless traditions outlive enduring brass, it is not strange that one is surprised to find "The Bancrofts" the most charitable volume of reminiscences published by any one belonging to the same generation as Sir Squire and Lady Bancroft. One expects a volume of theatrical memoirs to abound, if not in actual scandal, at least in passages in which the author's contemporaries will appear at some disadvantage, while the authors themselves, perfect in make up, the limelight becomingly disposed, the supernumeraries and minor personages in the dim background,

smile with unearthly sweetness from the centre of the stage. The Baucrofts do not fulfil this anticipation. They tell their story, now one and now the other speaking, frankly, gently and sweetly relating their experience. They may have heard of hearts unkind, but they make no sign of having met them. Possibly this description may suggest insipidity not only to the disciples of Wilde and Mr. Shaw and their like, but also to those who still practice the habit of sneering at the players, but in truth, there is nothing so free from insipidity as charity. The charm of its strangeness never fails, and to those readers to whom Marie Wilton has hitherto been only a lovely name encountered in the literary and dramatic memoirs of her time she will henceforth be as a friend to be sought again and again in her pleasant pages. There is scarcely any contemporary English person of any prominence whom either one or the other of the two authors did not encounter while in active life, and in the later chapters they include many kind letters sent to them on various occasions; but the story of their picturesque youth and energetic prime is naturally more interesting, as it is practically the history of the best English comedy of their day. They never stooped to conquer, but, no matter what prosperity might attend evil or evil suggestion at other theatres kept their own free from any and all stains, and, as it ought not to be necessary to say, do not boast of their abstinence, but mention it in the simplest fashion as a matter of history. The forty illustrations, chiefly portraits of actors and drama tists, include a few interiors, and are carefully chosen photogravures and good duogravures and the index seems very good, but this last point can be really tested only by those repeated readings which the volume will certainly have from all its possessors. E. P. Dutton & Co.

SEVENTH SERIES
VOLUME XLIV.

No. 3395 July 31, 1909.

FROM BEGINNING

CONTENTS

I. Great Britain, Germany and the United States. By Sydney

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

NINETEENTH CENTURY AND AFTER 266 Saleh: A Sequel. Chapters XXI and XXII. By Hugh Clifford.

(To be continued.)

BLACK WOOD'S MAGAZINE 275

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

FOR SIX DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publiskers, 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. Drafts, checks, express All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so.

and money orders should be made payable to the order of THE LIVING AGE CO.

Single Copies of THE LIVING AGE, 15 cents.

[blocks in formation]

GREAT BRITAIN, GERMANY AND THE UNITED STATES.

In much of the discussion that has recently been stirred up by Germany's naval expansion, it has been either assumed or openly stated that the matter is not one that concerns Great Britain and Germany alone, and that the United States is remotely but none the less unescapably affected by it. Put in this moderate form the proposition

is, I think, indisputable, infinitely

more so, at any rate, than some of the inferences drawn from it. The Americans, indeed, have not been slow to recognize and express their very real, if indirect, interest in the situation which threatens to throw Great Britain and Germany into an antagonism as sharp as that of two gladiators in a Roman arena. The gravity of the crisis has impressed them far more than our way of meeting it. We could not, as a matter of fact, have done more to alienate American sympathy than by the humiliating panics we have indulged in over phantom torpedo-boats, invisible airships, and belligerent German waiters. Like the rest of the world, Americans have noted our attack of "nerves" with ridicule and contempt, wondering, as they well might, what has come over us, and half-inclined to conclude that if we fail in the ordeal that awaits us it will be because we deserve to fail. But they have not on that account disguised from themselves that between American interests and the ultimate outcome, whatever it may be, of the prodigious preparations for war on both sides of the North Sea, there exists a tangible, and possibly a vital, connection. I do not say that the realization of this connection and of all that may be implied in it has as yet cut very deep into the American consciousness, or that it holds even a

but proGerman

second place in the thoughts of the "man in the cars" and of the average journalist, or that it is potent enough to have any immediate influence on American policy or on the growth of American shipbuilding. Considering the self-contentment and isolation of American life, its happy or harmful immunity from the fierce juxtapositions and imminent contentions of Europe, and the lack of anything in the nature of a constant education in the realities of world-politics, one could not expect the ordinary, busy, and complacent citizen to feel much more than a purely spectacular interest in the successive phases of a distant old-world rivalry. That he should feel any sort of interest at all is, however, something; and that the better sort of American journals and of American politicians and publicists should not only discern claim the fact that the question is an American as well as a British question, is little less than revolutionary. Thirteen years ago, at any rate, when I first visited America, nothing like it would have been possible. Americans in 1896 would not merely have disavowed, they would not even have sus pected, any relationship whatever between their own fortunes and policies and the rivalries of two European Powers. Had the Anglo-German situation in its present or anything like its present form developed a decade and a half ago, Americans would have discussed it, as they discussed the Græco-Turkish war, with a wholly impersonal detachment, and would have repudiated with the most ingenuous incredulity any suggestion that its issue could possibly affect or involve themselves. In those untroubled days

« AnkstesnisTęsti »