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of Kravonia" (Harper), for it moves with the same rapidity and animation as "The Prisoner of Zenda." Court intrigues, dangerous adventures, love scenes, duels, also throng Mr. McCarthy's pages, his "Illustrious O'Hagan" as well coming from the Harper pressrooms.
Instruction to burglars: Every one planning a private visit to the interior of a steel vault should be equipped with an electric drill. For further particulars, see chapter xii. of "The Wire Tappers (Little, Brown), where Arthur Stringer and A. W. Brown collaborate in textual and pictorial explanation of the whole process. But The Wire Tappers" does not limit itself to the recording of a single crime. Nor does Mr. Walcott's "Blindfolded" (BobbsMerrill). Either story would make a complete handbook on The Gallows, and How to Reach Them. The prospective criminal should, however, not neglect to supply himself with other light reading, as one's first term of imprisonment is said to be remarkably tedious. Fortunately, the thoughtful Harper Brothers, of Franklin Square, have just now provided against that very emergency by getting together 500 delightful Mark Twain pages, and publishing all these stories and sketches under the title "The $30,000 Bequest." The book is for sale to the general public, as well as to malefactors. Both classes, and all others, would be sure to find life better worth the living,whether in prison, or out,-if privileged with acquaintance of Marietta Holley's new farcicalities, "Samantha vs. Josiah" (Funk & Wagnalls). An extremely humorous specimen in this book is the betrayal of Nelt Chawgo, the village "he-belle," by a heartless and designing woman, whom Samantha finally takes to task, with the following result:
"Her work had fell into her lap, her face wuz red as blood, and she busted into tears sayin': "I am the guilty wretch that wuz the means of that. sweet and innocent young creature's fall; I am the one to blame. But I never realized until you brung it before me the extent of my crime, but I will atone fur the evil as fur as I can. I will marry him and make an honest man of him, and set him right in the eyes of the community.'
"And if you'll believe it, she did. It all ended first rate, almost like a real novel story. It seems that woman was so smut with remorse when it wuz brought before her in a eloquent and forcible manner, and she realized the almost irreparable wrong she had committed against that lovely and innocent young man, she offered him the only reparation in her power; she offered him honorable marriage, which he accepted gladly, and they got married the next week, and he brought her to Jonesville the following Monday."
With George Ade for your guide, you may roam Egypt and other" Pastures New (McClure, Phillips), laughing most of the time; but if you confine yourself to Seeing France with Uncle John" (Century), you will try to laugh oftener than you will succeed. In fact, after reading a volume by Mark Twain or Marie Corelli it is difficult even to smile over one by Anne Warner, let alone two by Anne Warner, who also publishes another set of Susan Clegg" stories, under Little, Brown & Co.'s im
humor and pathos with sympathetic feeling in
the two papas on board, themselves ex-ornaments of the Royal Navy. Capture, Wrath, Pardon, Marriage, etc. A marriage tragically foredoomed to be fatal,-since contracted between a brother and a sister ignorant of their relationship and so remaining until after the birth of children,-provides the theme for "Gray Mist" (Harper); but the anonymous author's ideas of Breton, or any life, entirely preclude meritorious novelistic composition. The greatly gifted German Frenssen's "Hilligenlei" has been admirably translated by Mary Agnes Hamilton under the title of "Holyland
(Dana Estes). With people of a small Schleswig coast town for its characters, this book has a religious purpose, though departing very radically from the orthodox views held respecting the Christian religion and its founder. Herr Pastor Frenssen's novel of dissent is strong, far too strong for babes and sucklings, or, in fact, for adult children. Enough said!
We still have to mention a few miscellanea. Jack London's vigorously, one might say ferociously, picturesque White Fang" shows how a wild anima 1,-half wolf, half dog,-may become domesticated. "White Fang" is really "The Call of the Wild" reversed,, and is likewise done in this author's best style, which is more than can be said for his recent volume of short stories, called "Moon Face." Mr. London's books are published by the Macmillans. "Chippinge Borough," which happens to be a rotten" borough of the '30's, furnishes Stanley Weyman with romantic occasion, while McClure, Phillips & Co. add their name to his on the title page. To a borough that is still rotten, the borough of Manhattan, comes young "Don-a-Dreams (Century), from simple Canada. He goes on the stage, and it takes him some time to find out that in Noo Yawk things are not always what they seem. But he keeps his (imported) ideals and poetic feelings, and at last becomes a famous playwright.
WHITE FANG TORE WILDLY AROUND, TRYING TO
people in Labrador get one mail a year. Otherwise, communication with the outside world is so irregular that when Doctor Grenfell, surgeon and missionary, told a man about the great Japanese victory over Russia's Baltic fleet, he was asked: "Who be those Japans, Doctor?"
The Trials of Commander McTurk" vindicates Cutcliffe Hyne's reputation as a spinner of jolly nautical yarns, easy to read and hard to quit. W. Clark Russell, another veteran sea cook of stories, reels off "The Yarn of Old Harbor Town" (Jacobs), assuming the affair to have happened in Nelson's day. A reckless lieutenant abducts a very lively and not very unwilling young lady in a fast sailing brig, which is pursued by a still faster ship with
E. Nesbit's satirical way of looking at life makes "The Incomplete Amorist" (Doubleday, Page) an amusing book, and Clarence Underwood embellishes it with agreeable drawings.
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PRESIDENT JAMES MCCREA, OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD.
(Early last month Mr. James McCrea, at that time manager of the Pennsylvania lines west of Pittsburg, was chosen president of the entire system to succeed the late A. J. Cassatt. Mr. McCrea has been continuously in railroad work for a period of 42 years. Beginning as a rodman, he soon became an assistant engineer, in which capacity he entered the service of the Pennsylvania, in, 1871. He was rapidly advanced from one managerial position to another, and his organizing abilities quickly won recognition. Like his predecessor in the headship of the Pennsylvania, Mr. McCrea is first of all a railroad man, in the sense that he has all the equipment that only years of experience in the operating department can give, but he is also versed in the financial side of modern railroad management.)
THE AMERICAN MONTHLY REVIEW OF REVIEWS
NEW YORK, FEBRUARY, 1907.
THE PROGRESS OF THE WORLD.
The argument for government ownership of railroads in the United States has usually been based upon the view that these highways of commerce are of public necessity and should be placed under public control to insure to the citizen an equality of advantage in their use. The principal argument against such governmental ownership has been the superior practical efficiency of private direction. and management. But unless conditions notoriously prevalent just now should soon be changed for the better, the public-ownership advocates will become confident and aggressive along a wholly new line of advance, where they have heretofore been on the defensive. They will point to the complete breaking down of efficiency in the actual business of transportation in this country, and will begin to claim that the Government could not possibly do things so badly and would in all probability manage the roads with a far higher degree of business efficiency.
Not Ready for
Furthermore, they. will point to Public the inability of the great railroad Ownership. managers to obtain the money they need to make absolutely necessary improvements, whereas the Government of the United States could obtain almost unlimited capital at half the rate of interest the railroads would be obliged to pay. It does not follow that these new arguments will be conclusive. There is no evidence as yet to show that the people of the United States, justly exasperated with the railroad managers as they have become, are by any means prepared to throw the burden of railroad ownership and administration upon the United States Government. On the other hand, they will heartily support the Government in its present policy of investigating abuses and trying to compel those responsible for present con
ditions to apply practical remedies. Government inquiry has disclosed the fact that in spite of drastic laws and a perfectly clear development of opinion as to the right and wrong of the matter, the railroads have been continuing the general practice of rebates and favoritism.
Railroad Men Under Scrutiny.
The responsible railroad managers have for several years past looked the country straight in the face and declared that they were scrupulously obeying the laws against discrimination. But when the Bureau of Corporations and the Interstate Commerce Commission proceed to make investigations, and the Department of Justice takes an active hand in the business, it turns out that by all sorts of ingenious methods, direct and indirect, the favored patrons of our railroads are aided by the railroad officials to break down their competitors in business. The bigger element of railroad men,-it is often now asserted, instead of attending to the practical business for which the stockholders are supposed to be paying them their salaries, are to be found in Wall Street and in the large New York hotels, building up their private fortunes by day, and pursuing their pleasures by night. The smaller fry of railroad officials have been the holders of stocks in coal companies, grain elevator companies, and other enterprises along the line, and it would be absurd to deny that as the prevailing rule such companies and enterprises have been favored with a supply of freight cars and other facilities for doing business, when their competitors and the general public have been denied. When things like this have been alleged against railroad officials, they have turned their eyes to heaven with protestations against the injustice of such slanderous accusations. But a moderate amount of ener