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JEREMIAH CURTIN, AMERICAN SCHOLAR.
IN the whole course
of our national history very few Americans have attained such linguistic proficiency as did the late Jeremiah Curtin, best known as translator of Sienkiewicz. Mr. Curtin, who died at his home in Bristol, Vt., on December 14 last, at the age of sixty-six, was born of Irish parentage. He grew up in a little suburb of Milwaukee, Wis., and obtained his education only through many difficulties. He was not fitted for the rough work on his parents' farm, but devoted himself assiduously to study, particularly of languages. Much hard work and patience gave him entrance into Harvard, from which he graduated in 1863. Almost at once President Lincoln appointed him. secretary of the legation at St. Petersburg. He was afterward connected with the Smithsonian Institution and with the Bureau of Ethnology. It is claimed that he knew seventy languages thoroughly. At St. Petersburg he met Sienkiewicz, the Polish author, and they became fast friends. Indeed, it was the great Pole himself who suggested that Mr. Curtin undertake the translation of his works. "Pan Michael" was the first book undertaken. This was followed by "With Fire and Sword" and "The Deluge." Then came "Quo Vadis," which made Mr. Curtin's fame as a translator.
(From a photograph taken in his library at Bristol, Vt., in December, 1905.)
In an appreciative editorial article in Donahoe's Magazine for February it is asserted that Curtin's share in the proceeds of the sale
of "Quo Vadis" was $25,000. In a letter from the Polish author to his American translator we find these complimentary references:
I have read with diligent attention all the volumes of my works sent me (American edition). I understand how great the difficulties were which you had to overcome, especially in translating the historical novels, the language of which is somewhat archiac in character. I ad
mire not only the sincere conscientiousness and the work. Your countrymen will establish your accuracy, but also the skill, with which you did merit better than I; as for me I can only
The writer of the article in Donahoe's Magazine already referred to characterizes Mr. Curtin's linguistic accomplishments as follows:
desire that you and no one else should translate der Slowacki and was the author himself of all that I write. "Myths and Folk Tales of Ireland," Myths and Folk Tales of the Russians," "Western Slavs and Magyars," "Hero Tales of Ireland," "Fairy Tales of Ireland," and "Creation Myths of Primitive America and Their Relation to the Religious and Mental History of Mankind." At the time of his death he was completing a history of the Mongols. Mr. Curtin was a tireless worker, and in his translations he had the assistance of his wife. Together they often produced fourteen pages at a sitting. His wife sometimes accompanied him on his journeys, and was with him when he made his visit to the Kurds.
Mr. Curtin was no ordinary translator; he was not merely an extraordinary linguist, but a man at home in any part of the world. Familiar not merely with the idiom of the Slavic tongue as written, but also with its various spoken dialects; his knowledge of the myths and folk-lore of many nations, his ethnological studies equipped him peculiarly for the task of transla
In addition to the works of Sienkiewicz, Mr. Curtin translated the novels of Alexan
SOME FOREIGN VIEWS OF THE "PAN-AMERICAN
"WE E have had pan-Germanism, pan- States, which will direct the general movement, Slavism, pan-Islamism, and but so delicately as to avoid exciting the susforth, and finally pan-Americanism, which ceptibilities of Latin-America. As the delegates to the congress at Rio represented 140,000,000 for some time has been making more noise people, it must be said that the younger Amerthan all the other 'pans' put together." icas have accepted the pan-American idea. These are the words of a writer in the Journal de Geneve (Geneva) who discusses the present status of the understanding between the United States and Latin-America, and also the possible dangers to Europe from such an alliance.
What, asks this writer, is America's idea of the meaning of "pan-American," and what is the American's method of pan-Americanizing?
The Pan-American Congress at Rio discussed questions of grave importance. The pan-Germans waste breath in urging people to join them when the people urged by them are determined not to understand their meaning or to listen to their overtures. Pan-Germans force upon the objects of their ambition theories which prove nothing. The Americans are more practical. Their aim is to join all the states of America by strong bonds and at the same time to leave each state in full possession of its independence and its individuality. The American states are to cohere, and the means of accomplishment of such a cohesion was one of the questions submitted to the congress at Rio. The pan American cohesion is to be based on the principle of arbitration of any differences that may view the members of the congress considered the preparation of a code of international law making it possible to exert a common action to develop and to facilitate commercial relations. They are to do all that is possible to
arise between the states. With that idea in
make America, North and South, a compact unit. The initiative is to belong to the United
A little more than a century ago the entire western world of America belonged to Europe. The United States, this writer reminds us, was the first to free itself from foreign dominion. It applied the principle established some time later on by President Monroe: "America for the Americans."
The Spanish colonies were not slow in following the example of the United States. In 1822, Bolivar, who had crossed the Colombia and invited the South to form an alliance and follow the example of the United States, saw, as dreamers see in dreams, the South and the North joined in one single federation. Bolivar was far ahead of his time, and he did not succeed even in joining the states of Spanish-America. They quarreled all through the last century. Now the Americans of the North have taken up Bolivar's idea and presented it under a far more practical form, a form far easier to realize.
The first pan-American conference was held in Washington, in 1889. The second was held in Mexico, in 1901. The only appreciable result of those two meetings was what may be called the first organ of Greater America,-an office at Washington. In the beginning the South American republics were suspicious of the motives of the United States. But the United States has gone far toward dissipating such fears. The Americans of the South have seen the beneficial ef
THE WISE ONES FOLLOWING THE STAR OF THE NORTH. (Brazil, Argentina, and Chile following the commercial star of the American Hemisphere--Uncle Sam.) -From Caras y Caretas (Buenos Ayres).
aggressive and more and more all-conquering. It ought not to be forgotten that, as yet, America does not wholly belong to the Americans. Spain was driven from her last intrenchments several years ago, but England, France, Holland, and Denmark still hold more or less territory in America, and none of those powers is in position to make a defense against a pan-American coalition.
A Voice from Mexico.
They saw it when, during the Venezuelan affair, the United States stood with arms outstretched between her young southern sister and the most powerful nations of the world. One of the chief propositions submitted to the congress at Rio by Señor Drago appeared to have been inspired by the adventures of President Castro. That proposition tended to expand the Monroe Doctrine so that it would not only forbid European powers to acquire territory in America, but forbid Europe to use force for Our relations with South America as inthe recovery of just debts by the New World and owing either to the countries of the Old fluenced by the recent Pan-American ConWorld or to private individuals of the same. gress at Rio Janeiro are the subject of an Until now Europe has recovered her dues by article by Señor Alberto Nin Frías in a late internationally legal measures enacted by means number of the Mexican Revista Positiva. of warships and cannon. At the Rio conference Señor Drago arose to oppose such forms of The writer, after briefly noting the present redress, and he found means to convince the political grouping in Europe, asks: "Is commission intrusted with the examination of America on the point of adopting a similar his plan that it is the duty of the commission to policy? Has the hour of unhappy rivalries submit the question to the next congress at The Hague. already sounded? If this be the case, then
So far, says this writer, there is no cause the nations of the Western Hemisphere will So far, says this writer, there is no cause be arrested in their economic development, for anxiety. But when Europe is considering the matter there is one thing that should since everything will be subordinated to the be well weighed by serious opinion. America pursuit of selfish political aims." may still be very far from forming a continental confederation, but this much is certain: she has very easily, and very quietly, accomplished the formation of a defensive alliance which, in time, may become more and more
The most marked tendency in the world's political development is toward the formation of great unities, such as the yellow races, the states of Europe, and those of the Western Hemisphere. We should have been better
pleased if Brazilian diplomacy had worked for a perfect Latin-American accord and had been able to offer a united southern continent as an ally to the United States. This eminently desirable action would have been more characteristic of Brazil, that land of subtle diplomats and vast capabilities. She has chosen, however, to work in a different direction, and we believe that she will repent of this in the course of time. It is not the cohesion and unity of South America that have been manifested to the United States, but rather its dissensions. With the help of Brazil the Monroe Doctrine may soon mean peace for Latin-America at the expense of dictation and intervention by the cabinet at Washington.
Señor Frías urges the different South American states to take up the task of diffusing correct information in regard to their resources and capabilities. He believes that the Argentine Republic, on account of its climate, the fertility of its soil, and the rapidity of its growth, is destined to occupy a place in South America analogous to that occupied by the United States in North America, and he also calls attention to the fact that the importations from the United States to Argentina are increasing in greater ratio than are those to Brazil. Passing to more general considerations, Señor Frías says:
North and South America will first become great for the Americans and later for the world, but this end will never be attained by placing obstacles in the way of our commercial relations with the Old World. Our debt to Europe is not yet paid; we still need the vigorous blood of her sons; if the United States can dispense with the Old World we cannot do so, and for this reason the most advantageous international policy for Latin-America is one that strives for the unity and accord of the Latin-American countries, for a sincere friendship and sympathy with the United States, and, lastly, for good commercial and diplomatic relations with Europe. We of Latin-America find ourselves in the full effervescence of exuberant youth, and feres with the two great physiological functions: in this period anything is injurious that intergrowth and assimilation. This view must be recognized as at once true, reasonable, and admirable, if tested by common sense, history, jusStates, for that great and practical country has tice, and even by public opinion in the United a proper esteem for rectitude, self-respect, courage and strength of will.
Señor Frías concludes with a warm tribute to Secretary Root, whom he considers to be "one of those agents in the development of mankind who arise from time to time for the realization of great and imperishable benefits for humanity."
KING PETER AND SERVIAN DISCONTENT.
KING PETER'S reign in Servia has not been a happy one. Scorned by the great powers of Europe, dubbed regicide by the world in general, enslaved by the murderers of Alexander and Draga, the first days of his rule were indeed troubled ones. Later he has had on his hands the Austrian customs war, the mad follies of the Crown Prince, the disputes over allowances for the royal family, the munitions and loan controversy, and grave political discord. The latest news from Servia has been of no equivocal kind, and it seems fairly certain that Peter of Servia will soon be a name of the past. There is also good reason to believe that this Servian ruler will again take up his residence in Geneva, Switzerland.
The press reports of Servian conditions have been somewhat meager. The fact of discontent has been shown, but not the reasons for this discontent. This deficiency is now made good, however, by the Servian correspondent of the Corriere della Sera (Milan), who discusses in a recent letter to his paper the entire situation. He says:
Servia is torn with strife and discord. Poli
ticians, workmen, officials, students, all feel that something is in the air and they are anxiously awaiting coming events. Each of these classes stands for a different political party, but they are all united in their discontent with the present régime, and they are all desirous of a change of some kind. The people speak publicly of their though the papers are frequently seized by the feeling, and the press is equally free. And alpolice they are no less regularly acquitted by the courts. Of the political parties the Nationalists are the most bitter enemies of the King and the change in dynasties, and it asserts that the King government. This party openly deplores the and his government are absolutely impotent and in reality nothing more than political cliques. Next comes the little group of the Progressives, captained by the famous Marinkovic. This party enjoyed the favor of King Alexander, and it naturally waged war against the new régime from the first. Then we have the Independent Radicals, led by Liuha Stoianovic. These men cannot pardon the King for having scorned them when they had the balance of power in the Skupschtina (Parliament) and for having called Pasic to the Premier's chair. For Pasic, they claim, has done nothing more nor less than what they were about to do.
With these political groups must be united the Socialists, under the leadership of Capeevic, who are opposed to everything,-the
throne, the dynasty, the munitions, the loan. And, finally, Servia, like all the Balkan states, must take into account the students.
These men are perhaps more disorderly at Belgrade than elsewhere, and they do not hesitate to vote violent resolutions against the King and government and then carry these resolutions through the streets. Moreover, we must add to all of these discontented classes the soldiers and officers. Ordinarily the army is divided into two camps, but now it is united in its common hatred of the present dynasty. One side, the socalled anti-conspirators, sees in King Peter the protector of its enemies; the other, the men who killed Alexandra and Draga, cannot pardon the King for allowing himself to be guided by the radicals and for having given them control.
All of these men,-conspirators and anticonspirators, Radicals, Nationalists, Socialists, stand in awe of the Crown Prince. They ask: "What will become of us when King Peter dies?" And all, thinking of the Crown Prince, paint the future in the darkest hues.
In fine, the elements which are usually separated by the widest possible gulfs are now united by the one conviction that the King, for one reason or another, is the real cause of their discontent, and that if the King had so willed there would have been no Pasic, no loan, no munitions, no customs duel, no economic crisis. This is the sum of the present situation in Servia. But, in concluding, we must not overlook the hordes of peasants who were favorable to the new régime at first. The customs war with Austria, however, has turned the tide against the King, and now the peasant classes are his bitterest enemies.
A Shaky Foreign Policy.
Vienna journals, which have for some time past been carrying on a violent campaign against Servia and the Karageorgevitch family, publish a series of announcements with the manifest object of representing the situation in Servia to be hopelessly distracted, and the country to be on the eve of important changes. Some of these stories center round M. Mijatovitch, the former Servian Minister in London, who, it is stated, will shortly be tried and condemned for high treason on account of alleged anti-dynastic intrigues, and particularly of efforts to place a member of the British royal family on the throne of Servia. Whatever cliques inside or outside Servia may imagine themselves to have an interest in propagating pernicious nonsense of this kind would do well to remember, declares the London Times, that British princes are not in the habit of being candi- (Who, it is reported, intends to abdicate when the
dates for shaky thrones from which a predecessor may have been summarily or Even bloodily removed.
Servian Parliament meets next fall.)
The relations between Servia and Bulgaria have lately been somewhat strained on