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The sudden retirement of the French Ministry from the Chamber and from office seems to have been due to a purely personal and accidental cause. It is easy, of course, to assign political reasons for it in the unsettlement created by various disquieting influences, and exhibiting itself periodically in attacks on the administration and policy of the Government. There are the recurring labor troubles, the financial anxieties caused by repeated Budget deficits and by the probable results of the income-tax and old age pensions, the purchase of the Western Railway-a public benefit, but involving unknown liabilities hereafter-and the thoroughly unsatisfactory condition of the Navy, as revealed by the report of a Commission, which was the subject of the fatal debate. These things are prominent in the leading French newspapers-especially in those which are most read outside France-but we see no evidence that the electorate generally is anxious, or that the Chamber takes them to heart. The Ministry fell at the end of a debate which should have been exciting, but was generally dull, and at the fagend of a Session that had dragged ou so unexpectedly that a third of the members had gone on their holidays, some of them to promote inter-Parliamentary good-fellowship on the shores of the Baltic. M. Delcassé, who reappeared in politics early last year for the first time after his enforced retirement at the "Morocco crisis" of 1905, and is President of the Naval Inquiry Commission, made a bitter attack on the Ministry, some of whose members had been active in forcing him out of office. M. Clemenceau, who is stated for some days to have shown signs of fatigue and illness, made an entirely unnecessary rejoin
der. A charge of neglecting the Navy, he said in substance, came very badly from a Minister who had concurred in that neglect on the part of his colleagues at a time when, by his foreign policy, he was conducting the State to disaster. M. Delcassé was roused to fury; he attracted the sympathy of a number of the ordinary supporters of the Premier, and the irreconcilable Monarchists with the unified Socialists, at present equally irreconcilable, combined against the Ministry in the Chamber, as their followers had in the bye-election at Abbeville, when a Monarchist won by the help of 2,200 Socialist votes. Ministers were thus defeated on a technical motion, made no effort to retrieve their fortunes-as they might have done on a direct issue-and walked out. Paraphrasing the account given by the Temps, we may say that at eight o'clock M. Clemenceau raised a storm, and that twenty minutes later he had been swept away, and refused to attempt to recover himself. The affair rather reminds us of Lord Rosebery's pusillanimous resignation on cordite.
As Lord Palmerston wrote on a celebrated occasion, "I have had my titfor-tat with John Russell, and have turned him out." That is precisely M. Delcassé's attitude, but he seems to have gained a barren victory. The division list shows a split in the three Republican groups of the Chamber, which can only be ascribed to a sudden impulse of sympathy for him in a tired House; and, under the system of voting which was in force till this week, it still seems possible-though M. Clemenceau has declared otherwise -that the Ministry might have escaped defeat. And, on general grounds, the defeat was undeserved. Apart from finance, which must pre
sent insuperable difficulties to all Ministries in the present condition of the Chamber and French politics, the record of this Ministry was distinctly good. It had maintained itself longer than any other among the forty-seven Cabinets of the Third Republic, despite frequent intrigues among aspiring supporters who believe entirely in "rotation in office"; and in a French Ministry stability is a merit in itself. It had coped, not altogether unsuccessfully, with recurrent Labor troubles, in spite of Socialist hostility and the sympathies of many of its own Radical Socialist supporters; and, if it had not yet reformed the Navy, the evils in that service are of such long standing, that it was a task of extreme difficulty. It had disposed successfully of the irritating questions set up by the application of the law of separation of Church and State, and had given the Church better terms perhaps than Monarchists and Vatican had allowed her to deserve; and it had done something to check ultra-Protectionism. In foreign policy, though M. Delcassé justly took credit in his outburst for beginning the policy of en
tentes and alliances, his work has been carried on effectively by M. Pichon, whom nobody will suspect of inclination towards a "spirited"-and dangerous-course. The Morocco question is out of the way, and the understandings with Russia and Great Britain are stronger than ever. Sir Edward Grey's policy of ententes has not borne practical fruit as yet. But the friendly understanding with France is all to the good, and we are glad to think that, pending a General Election, there is no reason to expect any great change in French policy or in the composition of the Government. An excellent successor to M. Clemenceau would have been found in M. Bourgeois, who has learnt much at the Hague Conference and otherwise about foreign policy since his fall in 1896; but a still better choice is that of M. Briand, the Minister of Justice, whose judgment and caution has effected a settlement of the ecclesiastical difficulties, and who, though a confessed agnostic, has been liberal to the Roman Catholics in spite of his own party and the Clerical leaders.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS
Mr. James Lane Allen carefully explains to the readers of "The Bride of the Mistletoe" that the book is not a novel, but a story, and that it is to be followed by two other books, one also a story; the other, judging by its second title, "An Interpretation," an explanation of the first. When an author feels it necessary to explain that he is going to explain it would be hardly courteous to say that one understood him, and an attitude of civil bewilderment becomes Mr. Allen's readers until he chooses to give them further light than he bestows upon
them in his story. It seems to show a husband and wife at the fatal moment in which the woman is forced to admit to her mind the fear that has long haunted her heart, and to acknowledge that she is no longer necessary to him. The love of the two had been very deep and the cessation of its mutuality not only slew her happiness but cast the shadow of its blight upon many a lovely trait deemed inborn and perennial but really rooted and grounded in that happiness, and the morrow morn finds her not only different in feeling but different in soul. The tale
is told with its author's customary care, but with a novel yielding to that passing fashion which requires an author to write some things which he could not speak without being rebuked. Such yielding is a matter of choice; no man is compelled to remain above the level of his time, and no one has any right to reproach Mr. Allen for descending thither for a moment. He has told his story with grace and has left its sequel clothed in mystery. Macmillan Company.
Mr. Oliver Huckle's "Mental Medicine" differs from the myriad flock of books on the healing of the body through the mind chiefly by the author's willingness to take a hint from any quarter, and to consider it carefully. Originally the book was written to be delivered as conferences with students at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, and its intention is to show how ministers and physicians may cooperate in the work of healing, each remaining within his own province. The author has been studying his subject for ten years, and nine years ago issued a pamphlet in which he asserted that all that was vital in the Christian Science movement had for years been practiced at the church of which he is associate pastor, and at many another. Further, he boldly says that through medicine his church and the doctors in his congregation obtain a larger percentage of cures than Christian Science obtains without medicine. Dr. Llewellys F. Barker gives the book an introduction, urging the co-operation of the physician and the clergyman, their two modes of work being counterparts. Readers so fortunate as not to need to study the book for health's sake may find it valuable as a short guide to the comprehension of many subjects on which discussion is rife. An excellent list of "Best Books for Further Reading" includes some fifty titles by the
sanest authors on the general subject, on its medical aspects and on its psychological aspects. That Professor Blackies' "How to Get Strong;" Miss Call's "Power Through Repose"; the psychology of Professor James, Professor Royce and Professor Munsterberg; Dr. Mitchell's "Doctor and Patient," and Dr. Morton Prince's "Dissociation of a Personality" find places in this list gives some idea of its variety. Whether or not a nervous person would greatly profit by studying the question of dissociated personality is a matter for the nervous person's physician to settle. Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.
If Michael Scott and Merlin should conspire together for the confusion of the young Americans and Englishmen of to-day, they could hardly devise a place more abounding in deception than the contemporary country house as it appears in the contemporary novel. The shabby kinswoman relegated to the schoolroom table and society, emerging only to save a life in an impressive manner, is really the heiress of a million or so; the young man sternly kept in order by dark threats from his cousin and her unexceptionable betrothed, is actually not her wicked cousin but a Knight of good character and unsullied honesty; the aged millionaire has not a penny beyond a beggarly annuity; the poor companion is the family heiress; the apparent bachelor has one or two wives in concealment, and the gentlest of created spinsters has a despatch box filled with her marriage certificates. The reader generally knows all about these devices from the beginning but does he therefore doubt the heroines and governesses and impecunious private secretaries whom he meets in real life? Not he, and suspicion is unknown in the novel. In Miss Imogen Clark's amusing tale, "A Charm
ing Humbug," the lady to whom the orphaned daughter of a great capitalist presents herself as an elderly governess, does venture to remark upon the superior quality of her wardrobe but asks no questions. The men of the family perceive that the young person is coquettish beyond the possibilities of a governess, but she carries out her plan, makes them her friends, wins the heart of one of them and captures her small pupil, horse, foot and dragoons. "All is delusion, naught is truth," but with no such terrifying results as were produced in Branksome Tower. The pupil, Billy, is a delightful boy, with actual good manners and a genuine effective desire to be a brave little gentleman. E. P. Dutton & Co.
When the African colonies, border and central, shall close up and occupy the entire continent; when the South American revolutions shall cease for lack of uninhabited territory suitable for retreat, the explorer will still find inexhaustible fields for his activity; he will search for the undiscovered past. Mr. Edward Hutton, anticipating necessity, has written "In Unknown Tuscany," and has garnered a surprising number of stories and incidents unrecorded by familiar historians, and many unknown to any but diligent students of manuscripts. His friend, Mr. William Heywood, has furnished his book with curious and valuable notes, and it has eight colored illustrations by O. F. M. Ward and twenty pictures in monotone. The colored pictures repeat the impression of the text in which the author dwells long upon the savage, unrelenting heat and its effect upon vegetation, but they also show the aspect of the climbing forest on the hillsides, and the poplars standing up spirelike, dark, dull green amid greenish gray, and grayish green. No book has been written about Tuscany for eighty years, says Mr. Hut
ton, and proceeds to rectify some of the misconceptions of earlier works in regard to government and laws, citing many curious instances of the survival of feudal usages, and showing the contests of the monks with nobles; the communes with the nobles; the communes with one another, and apathetic through all changes, unchanging little towns; almost the same to-day as in the years when the legends of the present altar pieces were making. The story of a typical abbey and the doings of certain typical families are set forth in separate chapters, and most curious of all is the story of David Lazzarelli of Arcidosso, who, some thirty years ago, persuaded himself and some hundreds of other folk that he was the Messiah, and was shot down by the police because he paid no attention to the Tuscan equivalent of reading the riot act to him and his mob. He was not so lucky as the Persian Bab; the first fire was fatal to him, he died ignominiously in a hospital, and they found that the mark on his forehead, the two C's, back to back, was tattooed by perfectly mortal methods, and an author made a book about him, and his followers forgot him-luckless self-deceiver that he was! Mr. Hutton belongs to that unorganized group of contemporary writers of which Mr. Edward Thomas and Mr. Frederick Manning are also members, a group as intent upon beauty of style as Pater and his imitators, but seeking it not by way of the forgotten and startling word, but by the melodious phrase and the suggestion of beautiful sights and sounds, and by the expression of noble thoughts. In this country, Professor Palmer most resembles them, but one of the younger novelists seems to cherish a similar ideal and the influence of their books must be felt, in spite of magazine encouragement of rough writing on the ground that it is the vehicle of strong thoughts. E. P. Dutton & Co.
No. 3398 August 21, 1909.
"The Hush in Europe." By H. N. Brailsford ENGLISH REVIEW 451 The Modern Surrender of Women. By G. K. Chesterton
Book II. Chapter VI.
DUBLIN REVIEW 462 By M. E. Francis
Modern Dutch Painting.
FORTNIGHTLY REVIEW 473
In a German Country House. By Dorothy Amphlett
XI. New Hearts for the Old Way. By Archibald Fox
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