Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

graves and send a thrill of horror through their moral and ascetic senses. The real cause of the change is probably due to the fact that the social world has grown so enormously during the past decade that very few private hostesses have houses large enough, or purses long enough, to entertain on a large scale. Where a few scores had to be asked ten years ago, thousands must now be invited, unless grave offence is given. Thus, to escape from this dilemma, the custom is becoming more and more common of hiring some huge public hall and allowing almost everyone to come who can afford to pay for a box or for a ticket. The result is curious, and has a strange effect. Men and women of widely different social grades, many of whom disdain to be seen in the company of one another inside a private house, are brought together under a common roof. The same thing applies to various schools of political thought, which have become estranged of recent years owing to the bitterness of the constitutional struggle. All are united, and apparently meet on the best of terms.

It is easy to understand the attraction these fancy-dress balls exercise. They give the opportunity to every woman to appear in the costume which she imagines suits her best, instead of in some mild variation of the passing garb of fashion; they enable men to escape for a few short hours from the eternal evening suit and the ever present danger of being mistaken for the waiter; both sexes can spend the evening or dance, not with those they are supposed to, but with those they particularly wish to. The boxes round the Albert Hall, which alone provides sufficient room for these vast pageants, form pleasant little havens of refuge to which each may retire when no longer possessed with a desire to dance; and, above all, an atmosphere of reckless Bohemianism hangs over

these public dances, which is in welcome contrast to the restrained air and dull respectability of the ordinary private dance. In hushed whispers your partner will draw your attention to some notorious actress of the variety stage, to some noted politician, to the most recent celebrity of the divorce court, or to some gay resident of Paris whom rumor says really belongs to the great demi-monde, none of whom could have passed the portals of a private dance. How much this variety adds to the evening's charm is just beginning to be appreciated in this island which Pinero once described as "Little England, the land of lean women and smug men; in all things the suburb of the universe." The Albert Hall has of recent years earned the honorable title of the Montmartre of Paris. will not suffer by the change. Society was growing infinitely bored with dances which seemed to be made up from the familiar names which daily appear in the society columns of the papers. In these great democratic cosmopolitan gatherings a duchess becomes a human being, and must descend from her pedestal if she is to be noticed at all, and the gay little child of joy from the variety stage is the real cynosure of all eyes, if one may be permitted to use a hackneyed phrase.

London

Last year we were told that the Shakespeare Ball would never be surpassed in splendor and wealth of color and costume; but the Hundred Years Ago Ball at the Albert Hall proved an even greater success, and in many ways it was more effective. There was naturally not quite the same variety in the costumes as in the Shakespeare Ball, which covered the range of many centuries; but, on the other hand, the costumes of one hundred years ago were peculiarly attractive, and more especially do they give the men an opportunity of competing on more even terms with the ladies. Previous expe

rience had helped the management to provide against undue overcrowding, with the result that there was far more individuality, and the quadrilles, which had been organized with so much care, were not hopelessly jumbled together into one indistinguishable mass of struggling humanity, each doing different figures at the wrong moment. It would be unfair to discriminate, but we think the palm must be awarded to the Waterloo Quadrille. The Academy.

Each figure in that historic struggle was wonderfully lifelike. It took one back to the past in a manner which no history or record of the times could possibly have done. Those who were present will not easily forget the scene. We may as a nation be going rapidly downhill, but the path we are following is indeed a splendid one, and it is certainly easy for lovers of pleasure to follow as long as it is strewn with such landmarks as this.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS.

What promises to be one of the most interesting volumes in Henry Holt and Co.'s series of Leading Americans (edited by Prof. W. P. Trent), will be Mr. George Iles' Leading American Inventors, which may be expected about November first. The authoran authority on his subject-will, as the authors of the other volumes in the series have done, confine himself to men who have passed away, and whose work has been therefore finished. His subjects include Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat-Ericsson, of the "Monitor"-Whitney, of the cotton-gin -McCormick, of the reaper-Howe, of the sewing-machine-Morse, of the telegraph-Sholes, who built a typewriter, and others.

Early in October, Messrs. Henry Holt and Co. expect to publish Dorothy Canfield Fisher's "The Montessori Mother." Mrs. Fisher, who by her maiden name of Dorothy Canfield has become widely known as the author of "The Squirrel-Cage," a novel of American life, spent last Winter in Rome, in very intimate association with Dr. Montessori. She was called on to help in the translation of "The Montessori Method," which has attracted so

much attention in this country, studied in the Montessori schools, and was in close personal touch with Dr. Montessori and her most important associates. Mrs. Fisher's new book is the result of a widely expressed demand for a simple, untechnical account of what the Montessori apparatus is, and the method of its application.

It is probably safe to assume that "Donald Lowrie" who tells the story of "My Life in Prison" (Mitchell Kennerley, publisher) conceals his identity under an assumed name; but it is not easy to question the reality of the experiences which he describes. San Quentin prison, California, was the place in which he served a ten years' sentence for burglary to which he was driven by want. He describes his crime and the motives which prompted it, his detection, arrest, conviction, sentence and imprisonment from the moment when he passed through the prison gates to the day of his release, -all with a vividness and a fulness of detail which carries conviction of his truthfulness. If one wants a portrayal of prison life from the prisoner's point of view,-one-sided, of course, and bitter, but essentially truthful-he will

find it here; and with it a multitude of stories of crime and its punishment, brutalities within prison and out, and pitiful tragedies. The book is painful reading, but it should do good; for in it the ordinary process is reversed and it is not the criminal but society that stands indicted.

Thomas Y. Crowell Company announce for publication in September a strong list of holiday books and booklets, travel books, juveniles, and books for thoughtful readers. In the latter class are works by James Allen, author of "As a Man Thinketh," Dr. C. E. Jefferson of the Broadway Tabernacle, and other well-known thinkers and writers. Additions to the Crowell Travel Series are Blichfeldt's "Mexican Journey" and Van Dyke's "Through South America." Books for boys and girls include two new Boy Scout stories, a charming story by Mary F. Leonard entitled "Everyday Susan," and continuations of the "Silver Fox Farm," the "Bar B," and the "Dorothy Brooke" series. An important feature of the Crowell list is seven new volumes of the First Folio Shakespeare, which brings to a completion this unique edition. A new novel by the author of "The Journal of a Recluse" is also announced.

"The Norseman: A Drama" by Elizabeth Alden Curtis, is a version of the story of Frithiof and Ingeborg from the Frithiof Saga. It is hardly an actable play, for the stage directions demand impossibilities. The author, however, commands a fairly good blank verse which is pleasant to read, and her characters are reasonable and move intelligibly. The verse rises to no tremendous heights but sometimes lends itself to moments of real tenderness.

The story is clear and beautiful enough itself to deserve a poetic handling. It tells of the love of Fri

thiof and Ingeborg, sister of two kings who refuse to allow the lovers to marry. Shortly an enemy attacks the brothers and, as Frithiof refuses to help, they are conquered and in revenge give Ingeborg to the conquering King. The trials of the two and their final happiness are from one version of the ending of the tale. Few other liberties have been taken with the myth. The author has not produced a masterpiece, but she has brought a classic nearer. T. B. Mosher, publisher.

Elizabeth C. Porter of the Mount Holyoke class of 1909, and Frances L. Warner of the class of 1911 are joint editors of "A Mount Holyoke Book of Prose and Verse,"'-an attractive volume of about 200 pages. The book is published for the benefit of the Mount Holyoke Student Alumnæ Building Fund, and alumnæ and friends of the college who purchase it will indirectly aid that fund, at the same time that they possess themselves of a collection of some of the brightest and best contributions in prose and verse which the students have contributed to the college magazine during the last twenty years and more. Miss Porter's candid Preface shows that she cherishes no illusions as to the enduring literary value of undergraduate writing; but the selections contained in this volume are very creditable and a good deal of the verse and several of the sketches and stories are well up to the ordinary magazine level. It is, of course, promise rather than achievement which these selections represent; and if, as Miss Porter suggests, the element of humor is lacking, that is something that can better be spared than could the sincere feeling and high ideals which find expression both in the prose and verse. The price of the book is $1.35 postpaid, and orders for it may be addressed to Miss Irmagarde Schneider, South Hadley, Mass.

SEVENTH SERIES
VOLUME LVI.

No. 3557 September 7, 1912

FROM BEGINNING
VOL. CCLXXIV

CONTENTS

1. The Conservative Party. By the Right Hon. F. E. Smith, K. C., M. P. OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE REVIEW 579 II. The Artistic Attitude in Conduct. By E. F. Carritt.

III. Fortuna Chance. Chapter XXXVII. Victrix vel Vindex. (Concluded)
By James Prior.

[ocr errors]

HIBBERT JOURNAL 588

597

[ocr errors]

601

SPECTATOR 614

IV. Life-Pieces from Arizona, By Sir Gilbert Parker, D. C. L., M. P.
L.,M.
FORTNIGHTLY REVIEW

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

By C. Edwardes.

CHAMBERS's JOURNAL 618

VII. The Political Platforms in the Presidential Campaign.

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

By G. K. Chesterton.

[ocr errors]

XIII. An Essay in "Scientific Management."

A PAGE OF VERSE.

OUTLOOK 628

EYE-WITNESS 631

XIV. To a Friend on his Fiftieth Birthday. By R. H. Law.

PUNCH 634 NATION 635

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

FOR SIX DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, 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 let ter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks. express and money orders should be made payable to the order of TxE LIVING AGE Co.

Single Copies of THE LIVING AGE, 15 cents.

TO A FRIEND ON HIS FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY.

When Horace taught us in our youth, My Postumus, that years were flying, We laughed; the venerable truth

Was evident beyond denying.

We found it, learnt at second-hand,
The dreariest of commonplaces;
To-day we better understand

The meaning of eheu fugaces.

But, though 'tis well-nigh fifty year Since first you sucked your baby coral,

You shall not on your birthday hear

From me the dark Horatian moral.

You still can walk your thirty mile; Your eye is clear; your hand is steady;

And who, that once had seen you smile,

Would call you middle-aged already? Yet boys at college think us old,

And grow polite and deferential; Young girls are either shy and cold, Or but too kind and confidential.

And there is many another sign

To warn us that our age advances; Our care, for instance, how we dine, Our weariness of new romances. New catch-words to our ears are brought;

Ideals too have changed their fashion;

Now Art would masquerade

Thought,

as

And Thought apologize for passion. Some, conscious of their briefer day, Refuse to listen, vexed and puzzled; Cry "Would that we were well away! The world is mad and should be muzzled."

"Labuntur anni" they will sigh,

"And few and evil those remaining." If time is shorter, we reply,

The less to spare for mere complaining.

Why measure life by years alone,

Like almanac and coffin makers? Are miles of barren heath and stone For profit worth your hundred acres? Sixth Century A.D.

[blocks in formation]
« ZurückWeiter »