Imágenes de páginas

his discovery to the nearest highway, and a sort of floating house of rare wood, drawn by pontoons, lined with silk, adorned with banners, and surrounded by a flotilla of gilded barks, was furnished to convey him across the river. The king, with the court, met the cavalcade here, and kneeling before the elephant made appropriate offerings. The priests then read a very long address of welcome, ending thus: It is due to your own merit that you have at last come to see this beautiful city, to enjoy its riches and to become the favored guest of His Most Serene Majesty the King." Then the Brahmins baptized him with holy water, and bestowed on him the highest title the king could confer.

This title was written on a piece of sugar cane, together with a number of phrases enumerating the qualities, virtues, and perfections of the new lord, and the sugar cane was extended to His Highness, who swallowed it on the spot, thus indicating that he accepted the honors granted him. Then the procession advanced to Bangkok, all illuminated and decorated in honor of the event. Here awaited him a palace second in splendor only to the king's; an elaborate wardrobe,velvet and silk coverings embroidered in gold and jewels, ornaments and marvelous trappings, with a gold plaque to be suspended on his forehead (on which was inscribed his patent of nobility); a prime minister, a retinue of slaves, a choir of priests, an orchestra of musicians, anaa corps de ballet! To maintain this establishment a whole district was granted him, all the revenues of which were paid into his treasury. Thus amply provided for, His Elephantine Highness led a life so indolent that he soon succumbed to the too great kindness lavished upon him. Then a royal funeral was given him, and the search for a successor was begun.



NE of the most interesting articles in the Revue de Paris is that by M. Le Braz, dealing with what may be called the folk-lore view of death. From time immemorial, he points out, the Celtic race have believed in a future life, and have made themselves familiar with the thought of death. In southern Europe the inevitable approach of the great Destroyer has ever been regarded with intense horror and fear. The Romans,-who were, of course, southern, -were amazed at the calmness with which the northern races conquered by them regarded death. The Gauls had among their divinities one who was styled the God of Death, and many of them believed that from him all mankind was descended. The Celtic ancients believed that the country of

the dead lay beyond the seas, and was in fact a real country or tract of land.

Occasionally, in the oldest folk-lore of Brittany, historians come across traces of this idea, for it not unfrequently happened that a bereaved widow would set sail on the sea in the firm hope that she would reach the "other side." Of ghosts, or returning spirits (those that come back, as they are styled in France), the Celtic people seem to have had no thought at all till about the tenth century; but during the last thousand years spirits have played a considerable rôle in Celtic literarature, and both in Ireland and in Brittany is constant reference made to the banshee, who foretells disaster by her pres



Brittany has remained curiously medieval, and in nothing more so than in her somewhat morbid interest in death. Even now in many a Breton village the parish church is not known as the House of God, but as the "House of the Dead ;" and till quite recently there was a place put apart for the reception of the bones of the departed. Not unfrequently, in addition to the ordinary village fane, a second chapel, entirely given up to the cult of the dead, claimed each Sunday the suffrages of the villagers. Many of these remain, and are extremely beautiful, notably the Campo Santo of St. Pol de Leon. scriptions, some curious, some pathetic, some strangely pagan,-are to be found running round these mortuary chapels. Many are in Latin, others in French, and even more in Celtic. favorite motto is that addressed to the still living passer-by: "Oh! sinner, repent while there is still time, for one day you will also be here." Yet another favorite dictum is a Celtic verse of which the sense, roughly speaking, may be rendered: "Death, judgment and hell; when mankind thinks on these things it should tremble. He who does not think of death is surely lacking in mind." Once a year, on the eve of All Saints' Day, processions take place all over Brittany, each wending its way to one of these mortuary chapels.


Of late years there has been an attempt made on the part of the municipal authorities to build these mortuary chapels at some distance from the villages. This appears like profanation to the pious Bretons, whose ideal mortuary would always be placed in the very middle of the village, with the houses grouped round. It is thought to be unlucky if an infant on its way to be christened does not go through a burial ground, and the cemetery is the chosen meeting-place for lovers. There is something profoundly touching about a Breton churchyard; the graves are beautifully kept and covered with quaint offerings.



HE opening article of the August Century is "The


New New York," Mr. Randall Blackshaw's account of what is being done to make a great city on Manhattan Island. The original purchase price of Manhattan Island was about $24. To-day building sites have brought more than $240 a square foot, and the assessed valuation of real estate in Greater New York is to-day about $3,250,000,000. Mr. Blackshaw thinks that of all great works now in course of construction on Manhattan, the most significant are the projected railway tunnels, with the East River bridges taking second place. Next to these comes the erection of such magnificent buildings as the Episcopal cathedral, the public library, the proposed post office and the custom house, the chamber of commerce and the stock exchange. Mr. Blackshaw thinks that the proposed tri-centennial celebration of the discovery of the Hudson River will find us in 1969 with a city three centuries old that we can be proud of.


There is an excellent sketch of the late "P. T. Barnum, Showman and Humorist," by Joel Benton. Mr. Benton writes of Barnum as the gigantic dispenser of amusement. Mr. Barnum's home was at Bridgeport, Conn., and he was fond of putting something in the buildings and fields that suggested a show. On one occasion he had an clephant engaged in plowing on a sloping hill where it could plainly be seen by passengers of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. This sight was so widely described and discussed that the showman received letters from farmers all over the United States, asking him how much hay an elephant ate, and if it were more profitable to plough with an elephant than with horses or oxen. Mr. Barnum invariably answered: "If you have a large museura in New York, and a great railway sends trains full of passengers within eyeshot of the performance, it will pay, and pay well; but if you have no such institution, then horses or oxen will prove more economical." At Mr. Barnum's house the governor of Connecticut could be often seen, unbending himself; Horace Greeley was a not infrequent visitor, "Mark Twain" and Elias Howe often dropped in, and Matthew Arnold, when he came to America, was the guest of the showman.


Prof. James F. Kemp, of Columbia University, writes on "Earthquakes and Volcanoes." There is a graphic record of the Martinique disaster in a letter written by the vicar-general of the island in the form of a journal from May 2 to May 21, and the life in the doomed city is shown by translations from the leading newspaper of St. Pierre, Les Colonies, in its editions of May 1 to 7, the week previous to the disaster. The Century pays attention, too, to St. Vincent's catastrophe, by printing the observations and narratives of two eye-witnesses, Captain Calder, chief of police of St. Vincent, and T. McG. McDonald, owner of the Richmond Vale estate on the island.



HE August Harper's contains an article on "The Lineage of the Classics," by Dr. F. G. Kenyon, who tells how the works of the great authors of the ancient world, of Homer and Thucydides, of Virgil and Livy, have been preserved, and illustrates his explanation by reproductions from manuscripts in the British Museum. Of the classics proper we have no original autographs, nor any copies nearly contemporaneous with them. The plays of Eschylus were written between 485 and 450 B.C., for instance, and the earliest extant manuscript of them, a few unimportant scraps excepted, was written in the eleventh century, an interval of some 1,500 years. For Sophocles, for Thucydides, for Herodotus, the interval is substantially the same, and for Pindar and Euripides it extends to 1,600 years. Thus the destruction of manuscripts of the classics has been enormous owing to the fragility of the papyrus on which the original matter was written. Then the rolls of manuscript might be thirty feet long, which rendered them unwieldy and more liable to destruction. Many great authors have totally perished, and some of the great works of the classics we do know have been finally lost.

Prof. Robert K. Duncan writes on "Radio-Activity, A New Property of Matter." The cathode rays and the X-rays arise from a Crookes tube, a mechanism which is the complicated result of centuries of thought; they are a property of condition. The Becquerel rays, discov. ered by Henri Becquerel, a member of the French Institute, come from radium, a substance dug from the ground, which emits them, apparently, forever and forever, as it has emitted them through the countless centuries of the past, without any extrinsic influence. It is their natural intrinsic property-a new property of matter-radio-activity. The radium rays possess the X-ray properties of penetrating matter generally considered opaque. Aluminum is transparent to the rays, whose power is influenced only by the density of the substance interposed. Lead is comparatively opaque. The physiological effect of Becquerel rays is curious. A pinch of radium salt contained in a sealed glass tube was placed in a cardboard box, which was then tied to the sleeve of a professor for an hour and a half. An intense inflammation resulted, followed by a suppurating sore which took more than three months to heal. Mr. Duncan says that considering, then, the cost of the pitch-blende from which it is extracted, the value of radium would be at least $10,000 a gramme. As a matter of fact, less than a gramme exists to-day.

Mr. Charles Hallock writes on "The Primeval North American" and the civilization which flourished in North America about ten thousand years ago. The Korean immigration of the year 544, which led to the founding of the Mexican empire in 1325, was but an incidental contribution to the growing population of North America. Mr. Henry W. Oldys contributes a very suggestive essay on "Parallel Growth of Bird and Human Music," and there is a plentiful supply of imaginative material embellished with pictures in colors.

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



HE August McClure's contains a sketch of John Mitchell, the labor leader, by Mr. Lincoln Steffens, and a study of "Mont Pelée In Its Might," by Prof. Angelo Heilprin, from both of which we have quoted in another department.

Miss Stone's account of her experience among the brigands is followed this month by Mrs. Tsilka's story of the little baby that was born while that lady was sharing Miss Stone's captivity.

M. Santos-Dumont contributes an autobiographical sketch under the title, "How I Became an Aeronaut." The balloonist is only twenty-nine years old. He was born in Brazil. He says he was an aeronaut by nature, and his playmates used to tease him about his propensity to flying kites when he was a little boy. He has, in fact, evidently been studying the principles of human flight his whole life. M. Santos-Dumont has decided in favor of a petroleum motor, and the fundamental principle of his experiments has been the effort to minimize weight. Early in his experiments he constructed a 3% horse-power motor weighing only 66 pounds, a very remarkable engine at that time.

The balance of the August number is composed of fiction, in luding a daring but delicious little idyl by Stewart 1 dward White, "The Life of the Winds of Heaven."



N the August Cosmopolitan, E. A. Bennett has a sketch of H. G. Wells and his work. "Anticipa tions" is not the work of a Jules Verne, this writer explains. "The great difference between Jules Verne and Mr. Wells is that the latter was trained in scientific methods of thought, while the former was not. Before Jules Verne took to romances he wrote operatic libretti; before Mr. Wells took to romances he was a pupil of Huxley's at the Royal College of Science. He graduated at London University with first-class honors in science, and his first literary production was a textbook of biology."

The Cosmopolitan continues its sketches of "Captains of Industry," with articles on William Rockefeller, Charles T. Yerkes, H. M. Flagler, W. C. Whitney, and A. J. Cassatt, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Of William Rockefeller, Mr. S. E. Moffett says he is noted among ..s associates and subordinates for his perfect mastery of all the details of the operation of the company, his clear and sound judgment, and his keen critical faculty. "He is not a physical weakling, like his formidable brother. The steam that drives his mental machinery comes from a capacious material boiler. His physique is of the robust, J. Pierpont Morgan type. He is an enthusiastic horseman, and a lover of the fields and woods. But, like all the Rockefellers, he is de voutly religious. He has only one vice,-he

plays the violin. Aside from that, he is exemplary in his private relations."

Mr. Charles S. Gleed gives Mr. Cassatt, the president of the great Pennsylvania system, credit for a wonderful faculty of selecting the important thing, and of leaving the next most important for another time or another man. Mr. Cassatt was highly educated, and then went through a rough-and-tumble experience as a surveyor's rodman on the Pennsylvania road.

Mr. Rafford Pyke, in an essay on "What Men Like in Men," places the quality of "squareness" first, then reasonableness, then courage, generosity, modesty, dignity, and tenderness, in the order named. There are articles on "London Society," "Diversions of Some Millionaires," ," "The Organization of a Modern Circus," "City Ownership of Seaside Parks," and the love story of Heine and Mathilde.



N the August Munsey's, Donald Mackay, writing on "The Cow Puncher at Home," tells something of the life of the cowboy, who is, he says, practically the same to-day as in the early development of the West and Southwest. Cowboys are Americans generally, and sometimes English; "no man has ever seen a German cowboy, or a French." The cow puncher gets $30 to $75 a month, and saves it up for a considerable time, until he gets to the city, where it does not take long to separate himself from it. In the round-up each outfit consists of a cook wagon, a cook, two horse hustlers, and eight riders. Every 5,000 head of cattle requires such an outfit. Each rider possesses eight horses, three of which he uses every day. The cowboy country extends over the great prairies of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, and thence northward to Wyoming and Dakota. Mr. Mackay says that in Texas women have taken to ranching, and that one of the most successful, Mrs. Pauline Whitman, owns a ranch of 200,000 acres in the Pan Handle. She raises 15,000 cattle annually, and requires twenty cowboys for their handling.

Mr. Oscar K. Davis, formerly the New York Sun's correspondent in the Philippines, contributes an article on "The Moros in Peace and War," which is timely in view of the recent peacemaking with the Moro people. Mr. Davis says the Moros are the most formidable of the native tribes in the Philippines, and a campaign against them must be a serious affair. The center of Moro population in Mindanao is about Lake Lanao, in a fine upland country, where the natives cultivate great fields of rice and sweet potatoes. The Spaniards fought their way to this lake from the north coast in the face of tremendous resistance. They opened a road, which they protected with numerous blockhouses, and up which they lugged three small gunboats built in sections. The boats were put together at the lake and launched, but never saw much service, and were finally scuttled. Mr. Davis says the Moro fighters are very differ at from the Filipinos. Although they are poorly arme 1, they use with deadly skill and energy terrible knive 3 which they make themselves, and with which they can easily cut a man's head from his shoulders by one bow.

There are other articles in this number of Munsey's on "Country Life in England," by Lady Colin Campbell; the Stony Wold sanatorium for consumptives being established in the Adirondacks; "The New Photography," by Charles H. Caffin; and "College Girls' Dramatics," by Alice K. Fallows.

[blocks in formation]

in America, which we have quoted from in another department. The August number of this magazine is taken up largely with sixty or seventy pages of pictures and text descriptive of recreation grounds of the American people. To show what important financial terms the recreation of to-day is sometimes expressed in, the writer of the sketch "Across the Canadian Border" says that Mr. J. J. Hill pays for the privilege of fishing in the St. John River $3,000 a year, with $500 more for the St. Paul. Mr. H. W. de Forest has leased for himself and his associates the fishing in the Grand Cascapedia for $7,500 a year; Mr. I. W. Adams, of Boston, has paid $30,000 outright for the privilege of fishing in the Moisie, and half as much more for another stream; Mr. Lewis Cabot refuses $50,000 for his salmon-fishing rights in the Gaspe. The Restigouche Salmon Club, composed entirely of Americans, is so much sought for that its membership shares are worth from $7,500 to $10,000 each.

Mr. Frederick Palmer writes of "West Point After a Century;" O. P. Austin asks the question, "Will Our Commercial Expansion Continue ?" and gives his opinion in the affirmative; and Mr. Russell Doubleday describes, in "New York to Chicago,-20 Hours," a trip on the new trains of the Pennsylvania and New York Central, that make the fastest long run in the world,-enabling a man from one city to do business in the other and be gone only one day.



N Country Life for August there is an article on "The Automobile," with some instructions for beginners. This writer does not attempt to award the palm to one or the other of the different types of automobiles in use now,-electric, gasoline, or steam. He calls attention to the fact that whereas the gasoline machine is very convenient and practical, and is easy to start, and can run for a long distance,-one or two hundred miles, on one filling of gasoline and water, -on the other hand, steam vehicles have remarkable hill-climbing power, and give an extraordinarily delicate control of the carriages and their speed. They run quietly, too, without vibration. But the steam vehicles must be replenished with water about every twenty-five or forty miles. As to prices, this writer does not seem to think there will be any radical lowering of prices in the near future. Steam and gasoline autr mobiles may now be purchased as low as $600 or $700. Well-built machinery is expensive; cheap and flimsy machinery is out of question on an automobile. He reminds us that the price of bicycles would show that automobiles are rather cheap, for a bicycle in its best form is built today for about two dollars a pound, whereas an automobile costs only about one dollar a pound. He advises beginners to buy second-hand machines and paint them up.

Mr. Clarence A. Martin writes in the series on "The Making of a Country Home," and gives some general advice as to "The Main Features of the House." William L. Underwood tells how to make a water garden and how to keep it free from mosquitoes. T. W. Burgess describes the wonderful country home of Mr. E. C. Benedict at Greenwich, Conn., which is one of the favorite haunts of Ex-President Grover Cleveland. W.

C. Egan gives good practical directions "How to Make a Garden," and there are various pleasant suggestions for vacation-seekers and nature students at home.



IN the August Frank Leslie's there is a description of "The Birds of Farthest South," by C. E. Borchgrevink, the explorer and discoverer of the Antarctic Continent. The penguins are the most characteristic birds within the South Polar circle, and these are found in great numbers on land and on sea. The legs are placed so far back on the penguin that when the bird is walking it stands upright, and the wings are so rudimentary that they are more like flippers. When they wish to leave the water, they put on a great spurt of swimming speed, and then, with a mighty flapping of their wings, they rise two or three yards in the air. Mr. Borchgrevink shows some remarkable photographs of the populous penguin colonies of the Antarctic Continent, and some curious incidents in the birds' life. Their great enemy is the skua gull, which hangs around the desert islands, trying to steal the eggs and young ones. The penguins live on the edge of the ice-pack in winter time, and live off of fish and crustaceans, the flesh being so unutterably oily that a human being cannot stand it.

There is a brief sketch of Otis Skinner, the actor, by Franklin E. Fyles, who calls his subject the best elocutionist on the American stage, with the exception of Mrs. Le Moyne. The remainder of this number is devoted to fiction.



HE August number of Everybody's Magazine contains a description of the sheep-dog trials in the north of England, by A. R. Dugmore, which we have quoted from in another department. The magazine begins with a harvesting idyl in prose by Martha McCulloch Williams, whose recent volume of nature studies, "Next to the Ground," has been so handsomely received.

Arthur E. Johnson tells of a welcome invention by the chief of the United States Weather Bureau, "A Summer-Time Stove." This curious contrivance turns in an instant air of the temperature of a hundred degrees to a temperature below freezing point, and Mr. Johnson thinks it promises to become a factor of no mean importance in furnishing not only comfort to humanity in general, but aid to the manufacturing world, where room temperature is an item in the protection of goods. Professor Moore calls the novel refrigerator a gravity cooler. In outward appearance it is a plain round cylinder, connected with the outside air by a pipe of generous diameter, and having a similar pipe extending from beneath. Mr. Johnson's account of the scientific principles involved is not very elaborate or convincing. "Place your hand in front of the discharge pipe near the floor and you can feel ice-cold air coming forth in a strong draught. An anemometer, a machine for measuring air, placed in front of this pipe announces that air is coming out at the rate of 200 cubic feet a minute, or 12,000 feet an hour. Turn a damper in the pipe which leads to the outer air, and the wheels of the anemometer immediately cease turning. This seems to prove that the air enters the machine from the top and goes through it of its own sheer weight, being made heavier as it is cooled."

Holman F. Day describes "The Day's Work of a New England Farmer," there is a dramatic story by Frank Norris, "A Deal in Wheat," and other summery contributions.



ROM the August Atlantic Monthly we have selected the excellent travel sketch describing Pygmy life in Central Africa, by Mr. Samuel Phillips Verner, to quote from among the "Leading Articles of the Month."

An appreciation of Bret Harte by H. C. Merwin places that author very high among the literary artists America has produced. Mr. Merwin thinks Bret Harte would still have been a genius and great writer if gold had never been discovered in California. Mr. Merwin says that Bret Harte at his best had in the choice of words, the balance of his sentences, and the rhythm of his paragraphs, a very nearly perfect style. He was essentially an artist with the artistic incapacity to deal with abstract notions or general propositions. Merwin thinks that Hawthorne himself could not have conceived a purer character, or have told the story more delicately, than Bret Harte in "The Idyl of Red Gulch." The deficiency in Bret Harte's work was a certain limitation of creative power, which prevented Bret Harte, as it prevented Kipling, from writing a successful novel. Mr. Merwin thinks Bret Harte's one sustained effort, "Gabriel Conroy," is a nightmare.


In discussing "The Revival of Poetic Drama," Mr. Edmund Gosse thinks it is safe to say that since the days of Shakespeare we have not before seen an occasion upon which two dramatic poems of real and high literary merit, by the same author, have enjoyed runs and success at the same time upon the London stage. Mr. Gosse refers, of course, to the "Ulysses" and "Paola and Francesca" of Mr. Stephen Phillips. Mr. Gosse thinks the reason why poetic drama has always failed in England since the seventeenth century is that it remains faithful to the Elizabethan tradition. Accordingly he places his greatest hope for the newest revival of poetic drama in England in the fact that it is of the Elizabethan tradition. While he

cies. There are nine departments, each conducted by a specialist, who writes a critical exposition of such events of the last three months as come within his own sphere. In the issue for July-September, Mr. Henry Litchfield West discusses American politics, Mr. A. Maurice Low foreign affairs, Mr. A. D. Noyes finance, Mr. Henry Harrison Suplee applied science, Mr. John Corbin the American drama, Mr. Frank Jewett Mather, Jr., literature, Prof. A. D. F. Hamlin architectural art, Mr. Ossian H. Lang educational events, and Dr. J. M. Rice, the editor of the magazine, educational research.


The first of the three special articles, so-called, which appear in this number, supplementary to the reviews of events, is on the subject of "Chinese Exclusion,” and is signed by the Hon. Charles Denby, our former minister to China. Mr. Denby argues in favor of a continuation of our policy of exclusion; but holds that we should act openly and honorably in the matter, and not under cover of a strained interpretation of words. "We should declare that a certain number of students may come to this country, as well as a certain number of merchants, and a certain number of other classes if desirable, and the remainder should be excluded. Surveillance should be exercised over the persons so admitted in order that they might not become laborers. Our trade relations with China are promising, and they ought not to be disturbed by the enactment of unnecessary and unjust laws. A respectable Chinese merchant engaged in business in China, and desirous of doing business with the United States, should be encouraged to come to this country, and to buy supplies here. If we are to lose our trade with China, one of the main objects of acquiring the Philippines will be defeated."

The second special article in this number is contrib uted by Mr. Wolf von Schierbrand on "Germany as a World Power," and the third is an appreciation of the late Sir Walter Besant, by Prof. William P. Trent.

THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW. N the opening article of the North American Review

independe. Phillips has been the victim of more inju- for July, Thomas A. Edison briefly describes the

[ocr errors]

dicious praise than is often poured out upon young writers even in this crude and impetuous age," still he gives him credit for having produced already “one of those revivals of poetic drama which occur in our history three or four times in every century."

This August issue of the Atlantic refrains from discussions of heavy and serious topics. There is a vivid description of "The Moonshiners at Home," by Leonidas Hubbard, Jr., and contributions of fiction from Norman Duncan, Bettina von Hutton, Jack London, Arthur Colton, Alice Brown, and a breezy essay, "The Browning Tonic," by Martha B. Dunn.

[blocks in formation]

tests applied to his recently-perfected storage battery for motor cars. Mr. Edison declares that the battery has sustained and overcome the four very thorough tests applied to it, and that there is every prospect of the same result from the fifth and last test. Mr. Edison's own conception of the condition to be met by the storage battery is that it should be a perfectly reversible instrument, "receiving and giving out power like a dynamo motor, without any deterioration of the mechanism of conversion." Mr. Edison describes the run made by an automobile supplied with power from his storage battery in which a distance of sixty-two miles over country roads containing many grades, some as steep as twelve feet in a hundred, was covered by the vehicle, making at the end of the run 83 per cent. of the original speed, the average speed over the entire distance being 11 2-100 miles per hour. On a comparatively level country road, a little heavy from a recent rain, the same vehicle on one charge came to a stop at the eighty-fifth mile. Mr. Edison expresses the opinion that the automobile, aided by the new battery, will ultimately come within the reach of the man of moderate means. "With an initial outlay of $700 and up

« AnteriorContinuar »