Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Foreign News-[Continued]


Ibanez to a duel for attacking King Alfonso. The challenge was addressed to the author in four languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian) in the form of an open letter.

Editor Varella, "one of the cleverest duellists living," declared that he intended to go to France, slap Ibanez's face in a public place, force him to duel.

In France, famed Author Ibanez, himself no mean duellist, although "he has never yet succeeded in killing anyone," received the challenge. Said he: "Spanish has always been my people's language, unlike the Habsburg who now sits on the Spanish throne. Varella doesn't need to say in four languages that he will slap my face to induce me to fight. I am ready to meet him at any time."


Blunt Words

Georg Tchitcherin, Bolshevik Commissar of Foreign Affairs, went to his office, strutted and fretted, took him a pen and wrote big words full of sound and fury, signifying little.

He protested to the U. S. against the "repeated entry of American war vessels into the territorial waters of the Union of Soviet Republics without permission."

Specifically, Russia did not like the fact that the U. S. Coast Guard cutter Bear had taken magnetic observations in her territorial waters. It was also brought to his attention that upon a rock on Chukotsk Peninsula, in Emma Bay, Cape Pusino, Bering Strait, had been found a brass plate with the inscription "United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Magnetic Station. For information write Superintendent, Washington. For disturbing this mark, $250 fine or imprisonment."

When Commissar Georg heard this, he penned:

"I must emphasize that the erection of the foregoing plate and the threat to Soviet citizens inscribed on it constitute a gross violation of the sovereignty of the Soviet republics.

"Emphatically protesting to the United States Government against such lawless acts by their officials, obviously unable to distinguish where their own State territory ends and another sovereign country's territory begins, I am obliged to notify you that such violation of the legitimate rights of the Union of Soviet Republics, if repeated, will be sternly repressed by the Soviet Government."

In the language of diplomacy, even a declaration of war is written with due observance of the amenities. A Govern


-stern and firm and impolite

ment may be stern and firm but it is always polite. Hence "sternly repressed" had an ugly ring. The justice of Russia's case, if true, is evident; but, as no previous protest had been made, the note seemed unnecessarily blunt.

But, insofar as could be judged, Washington took the view that His Britannic Majesty's Government took with reference to the Zinoviev letter (TIME, Dec. 1.)-that the Government of the U. S. cannot consent to "receive" the note addrsseed to it by the Commissioner of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.


New Elections?

When Charon ferried the soul of the assassinated Socialist Deputy Matteotti over the Styx (TIME, June 23), the people of Rome became as excited as when, over two thousand years before, Marcus Antonius had stirred their forbears to the burning indignation of the Ides of March, following the assassination of Julius Caesar.

Matters came to a head, apparently, in the Camera dei Deputati last week when, in consequence of a charge that he had incited Fascisti to acts of violence, that terminated in the assassination, Deputy Giunta offered to resign the Vice Presidency of the Chamber in order to stand trial.

While Premier Mussolini rested a glowering face against podgy hands, a lively debate began between Fascisti and Opposition. Whilom Fascisti, now Lib

eral, Deputy Boeri was emphatic in stating that the Vice President's resignation ought to be accepted. From the Fascist side of the Chamber were leveled at him all manner of insults. He was reminded that he entered Parliament because of Fascist votes; was it not plain, therefore, that his resignation rather than Giunta's was at stake? "If you refuse Giunta's resignation," he challenged, "I shall consider it an honor to resign."

At this moment the inanimate form of Benito became charged with energy. Standing up, his eyes blazing with fury, he pointed a manicured digit at Deputy Boeri and boomed with suppressed emotion:


Retorted Boeri, amid scenes of ineloquent anger: "When I entered Parliament on the Fascist ticket, I did not know I was assuming any penal responsibilities."

The Chamber then voted to reject the Vice President's resignation by a solid Fascist majority. Ex-Premier Salandra, hitherto a faithful ally of Benito, voted for acceptance of the resignation; after the decision of the vote was announced, he, joined by the followers of exPremiers Orlando and Giolitti, left the Chamber as a protest.

Mussolini came with a jerk to the end of this tether. Deserted by the excombatants, by many of his own party and by several leading allies, he still had enough loyal Fascisti to hold the fort of Government. But outside the Parliament, the sea of the Opposition's discontent was running dangerously high, dark clouds scurried across the political sky driven by a shrieking wind, while angry darts of lightning flashed from the tongues of orators to be followed by the thunder of the press. Dare Mussolini face the storm?

The alternative was to show the people that Fascism was fearless by allowing members of the party to stand trial for alleged offenses. But, if he were thus to pander to the demands of the Opposition, he would cause a mighty schism within the ranks of his followers; for, if he were to expose his comrades to the just demands of the law, he would also be denying the right of revolution. Evidently, justice was on both sides of the fence.

For two days, Benito turned a problem over and over in his head. For three days, the Opposition press fulminated against the Government, declaring that it had no longer the confidence of the country, that it was maintaining itself in office by virtue of its iniquitous electoral law (TIME, July 2, 1923).

On the third day, just after Finance Minister de Stefani had finished presenting the budget estimates, Premier

Foreign News-[Continued]


Mussolini rose to announce that he had presented a bill to modify the present electoral law*, that on Jan. 3, after the Christmas recess, the Chamber would be reconvened to discuss his bill.

Astonished Deputies on both sides of the Chamber gasped in amazement. What did this new move token? As one man they grasped its significance: Parliament was to be dissolved, new elections on the old laws were to be held. As one man they scrambled to their feet and on all sides hissing, catcalling, whistling, booing, insults, challenges, gave way to thunderous applause.

In an undertone, like the welling of the motif in the grand finale of an opera, the Savage or reactionary Fascisti chanted:

Giovinezza, Giovinezza,

Primevera de Bellezza,

Nel Fascismo alla salvezza,
Della nostra libertà.

[blocks in formation]

The young Tsar, nearly 31 years of age, son of long-nosed Ferdinand (who abdicated in 1918) intends to travel first to Belgrade, capital of Yugo-Slavia, where there are no princesses, but where he may meet Rumanian Queen Marie's youngest progeny-Princess Ileana who, how

* The present electoral law gives to the party obtaining a plurality of the votes two-thirds of the seats in the Chamber. This law had the advantage of securing to the country a stable Government; it had the disadvantage of transcending representative government. The old law was based on proportionate representation and scrutin de liste (method by which the people vote for as many deputies as the electoral district has to elect), the majority party assuming control of the government.


-Princess Maria is just turned ten

ever, is not yet 16 years old. Thence he will go to Rome where Princesses Mafalda, Giovanna and Maria grace Unfortutheir royal father's court. nately, the affections of Princess Mafalda (aged 22) are reported elsewhere engaged, while Princess Giovanna is but 17 and Princess Maria is just turned ten.

From the Eternal City, the Bulgarian Monarch will travel to Paris, where is a fair sprinkling of comely princesses from the exiled houses of dethroned sovereigns. But, allegedly, he is not interested in the daughters of crownless heads. So will he depart to England, which for him will be a barren land.


Karolyi's Treason

At Budapest, the Hungarian Supreme Court confirmed the finding of a lower court-namely, that Count Michael Karolyi (TIME, July 16, 1923) was guilty of high treason (TIME, Nov. 3, 1924). The Supreme Court also upheld the previous sentence of confiscation of all his personal and entailed property, amounting to many millions of dollars. All that was allowed from the estate, before it became State property was $42,000 for legal fees to Karolyi's attorney.

The report on the findings of the Supreme Court was obviously incomplete; no mention was made of the Count's defense that he entered into communications with Hungary's enemies on the request of Emperor Karl. In the main, he was charged, like

Caillaux and others in France, of endangering Hungary's alliances, aggravated in his case by entering into communications with the enemy during a time of war.

Without any question Count Karolyi is, in the light of unbiased legal evidence, guilty of high treason. Nothing is surer, however, that he acted with the best of intentions; nothing more certain than that he was always the good friend of the Allies and that he ought, therefore, according to the terms of the Versailles Treaty, to be immune from the sentence confirmed by the Supreme Court. But in Hungary, as in most other places, courts of justice are established to carry out the letter and spirit of the law without reference to mitigating sentimental evidence.


New Envoy

Sitting in solemn conclave, the Imperial Japanese Government decided to appoint Tsuneo Matsudaira, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, to be the Emperor's Ambassador to the U. S. in succession to Masanao Hanihara, who resigned following the passage of the U. S. Immigration Act last spring.

After having received confirmation of his important appointment, Ambassador-designate Matsudaira said:

"I wish to convey my respects to your President and your countrymen, for with their friendship and sympathy I shall labor for the furtherance of good understanding between our countries.

"In this, I fully expect the support of my countrymen, because every Japanese knows that the prosperity of the Empire depends upon the peace of the Pacific, which, in turn, depends upon maintenance of friendly relations between Japan and America.

"This is a matter of patriotism for us. So, like every patriotic Japanese. I shall work for it. I sincerely hope that your people will believe me when I say that I mean what I say and say what I feel."

It was understood that he and Mrs. Matsudaira, lady-in-waiting to the Empress, would arrive in Washington in time for the inauguration ceremonies of President Coolidge on Mar. 4.

The Ambassador-designate is the third Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs to be appointed to the Washington Embassyhis two predecessors being Baron Shidehara and Masanao Hanihara. Both Mr. Matsudaira and his wife speak English perfectly, the latter better than any lady in the far-flung lands of the Rising Sum.

Tsuneo Matsudaira is 48 years old and is known as one of the ablest diplo mats in Japan. In 1918-19, he acted as High Commissioner to Siberia when the

Foreign News-[Continued]


U. S. and Japanese occupied Vladivostock. Two years later, he acted as Chief Secretary of the Japanese delegation to the Washington Conference.

Having appointed its Ambassador to the U. S., the Imperial Government, as is customary, instructed Japanese Chargé d'Affaires Yoshida at Washington to inquire of the U. S. Government if M. Matsudaira were persona grata to it. The result of this inquiry was to break all diplomatic precedent. Usually a Government makes an affirmative or negative reply; and that answer is transmitted to the Government concerned, often without the public being any the wiser. U. S. Secretary of State Charles E. Hughes did not wait until the Imperial Japanese Government had received the information that he was persona grata. He told the world, last week, that the U. S. welcomed both Mr. and Mrs. Matsudaira and expressed his unbounded faith that the mission of the Japanese Ambassador would strengthen Japanese-American relations (see Page 2).

Wanted to Talk

Into the American Embassy at Tokyo walked a young Japanese of pleasant appearance. He explained that he was Bunkai Arikawa, aged 22, the son of a priest in the Prefecture of Gifu. He asked to see Ambassador Bancroft.

He asked not once but a dozen times. He would not take no for an answer. Finally the attendants had him arrested. In his pocket was a picture of the Ambassador; also a short dagger.

"Why did you want to see the Ambassador?" they asked him.

"I wanted to talk to him about the Immigration Act."


The following books, economically, politically, historically or biographically related to Foreign News, have recently been published in the U. S.:

Napoleonic Sextette:


THE DIPLOMACY OF NAPOLEON-R. B. Mowatt-Longmans ($5.40). Elie Faure




NAPOLEON AND HIS COURT-C. S. Forester-Dodd, Mead ($4.00).

NAPOLEON, AN OUTLINE-Brigadier General Colin R. Ballard-Appleton ($5.00).

THE MANUSCRIPT OF ST. HELENATranslated by Willard Parker-Appleton ($2.00).

Written by one American, three Britishers, one Frenchman and a great Corsican, printed, bound and delivered to an unsuspecting public by five U. S. publishing houses, this small Napoleonic

TSUNEO MATSUDAIRA -Charles E. Hughes did not wait (See Japan)

library represents the first half of the season's output on the first French Emperor since Lothaire, grandson of Charlemagne.

In truth, as a library or as a mere collection, it is the smallest of drops in the largest of buckets. The splash is, therefore, proportionate in size. But why did the drop make the splash in the bucket at this particular time? The only satisfactory answer that can be vouchsafed is that this is the 155th anniversary of the great Emperor's birth, or the 103rd anniversary of his death. If neither of these answers is correct, the drop must have dropped not by any conscious coöperation of the publishers, but simply because it dropped.

The one extraordinary thing about Napoleon is the perpetual interest which his name evokes. Let anything from a horse's hoof to a pyramid be found that has the remotest connection with him-and the daily press gives it a place of honor on the front page; and the Sunday editions immediately put on weight. Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne and one or two more of the better known empire-builders-where are they compared to the great Buonaparte? Dim and distant figures. Time may be responsible for this inequity in interest. But not even the Duke of Wellington, who was born in the same year as Napoleon, nor George Washington have ever attained that universality of fame which belongs to the Little Corporal. Hence, because many millions of words have failed to say all that is to be said, Napoleon continues, and will long continue, to make the ink flow, the typewriters clatter and the printing-presses hum,

The first of these books is concerned principally with an impartial review of Josephine's life. Because it really is impartial, it is a book of intense interest, leaving the Empress, on whom the world has lavished a fair share of sympathy, a startling contrast to other imperial ladies and a strange mixture of vices and virtues.

The second is a scholarly and critical account of the methods-passing under the euphemism of diplomacywhereby Napoleon gained his ends. Few books on Napoleon are as engrossing.

The third is strikingly written and is an attempt to justify Napoleon's ends by his means. While often despising his ends, M. Faure certainly believes that his subject has a reserved seat in the sun. ". . . the most significant personality, I think, since Christ," says he.

The fourth, quite the most insignificant of the sextette, is chiefly reiteration and somewhat flippant reiteration at that-a good journalistic summary, nothing more.

The fifth from the start assumes that Napoleon was a great man and a great actor and, in a series of subheaded paragraphs, gives amazingly well a poignant outline of his life. The observations are keen, the style pleasing, the treatment intelligent. Considering its scope and the fact that it is written from a semi-military standpoint, the book is an excellent piece of work, easy to read, easy to digest.

The sixth and last book is allegedly by the Great Man himself. Written, as the title hints, at St. Helena, the book is virtually Napoleon's confession of his faith; and his faith was something not to be measured by known standards. It was primarily his faith in himself. It is a story of an Imperial Ego in which the Egoist describes the events of his reign "because his character and his intentions may be strangely misrepresented." They probably are, have been, and will continue to be. Napoleon proceeds to set matters right. The task is not small; his book is, however, too small to save him from the misrepresentations he feared. In the main, he tells alike of his successes and his failures, his love for Josephine, the reason for his escape from Elba, etc. The sentences are short, sometimes overbearing, sometimes modest-a perfect tally with Napoleon's character. If the manuscript is a forgery-this is unlikely, for, as the translator remarks, Napoleon "went out of his way" to disavow it-it is only possible to congratulate the forger on his vicarious cerebrations.

New Plays


The Mongrel. Rudolph Schildkraut is known generally as a distinguished German actor and specifically as the star of the malodorous God of Vengeance. The Theatre Guild has never kept its promise to bewhisker him as Lear. In the interim, he picked upon a dreary Continental comedy about a dead dog. A formidable forester kills a roadmender's (Mr. Schildkraut) oneeyed, friendly little Sniffy. He mourns. He tries to strangle the murderer's daughter. A motley group of assistants were cast to further Mr. Schildkraut's playing. Neither they nor the play sufficed. The star's performance chiefly incited the audience to prophecies of the great time to come when someone found a part to try his talents.

Alexander Woollcott-"A fine gifted, resourceful actor, this elder Schildkraut, who wandered lonesome through an old comedy."

The Sap. Manhattan, which turns up its long round nose at the rest of the theatrical sphere, had to wait. A season and a half it waited for Raymond Hitchcock without music. After a gross or more of hamlets and several cities had seen the gutteral comedian in The Old Soak and The Sap, Manhattan caught its glimpse. Manhattan took one look and decreed that comedy unsung becomes him thoroughly.

Comedy is, of course, a relative term, particularly in The Sap's case. For a whole act, there is little but domestic wrangling because the Sap dislikes earning a salary. One of the objectors embezzles money and excitement surges to the rescue. The Sap flows silently out of town with $50,000 additional embezzlement, flows back with a fortune, saves everybody.

The producers were so perfectly sure Raymond Hitchcock was good that they didn't bother with the rest of the cast. They bought a pretty cheap imitation of The Show-Off for a play. Except for Mr. Hitchcock, the proceedings were somewhat dejected. Except for Mr. Hitchcock.

Quarantine. The Helen Hayes controversy is at large again. Critics proclaim her one of the greatest of the young actresses. Certain private observers, of advertised intelligence, insist that she is nothing but a fluffy personality done up in a bundle of mannerisms. Popularly, she is a magnet of considerable importance. The controversy will not be stilled until the Theatre Guild proves somebody wrong by thrusting upon her the responsibilities of Shaw's Cleopatra. In the interim, her performance will probably keep Henry Mil

ler's Theatre in Quarantine for several weeks.

Miss Hayes plays a pert and pleasant child who elopes in another


-pert & pleasant

woman's place. The elopement ship is segregated owing to a whisper about bubonic plague. The girl and the man, unmarried, are further segregated in a little bungalow. Comes the night. Eventually, it develops that she was in love with him all the time and substituted for the other woman to win herself a husband.

This genial parable is told in the lightest mood. Thin ice is skillfully avoided. Subsidiary characters are drawn and played adroitly. Sidney Blackmer is the male in the matter, giving his best performance since The Mountain Man. Like many light entertainments, the piece is quick enough to catch the auditor's approval.

Gilbert W. Gabricl-"The bacillus of good humor has no trouble multiplying."

Stark Young-"Got nowhere entertainingly, said nothing engagingly and ended to rounds of applause."

TIME, The Weekly News-Magazine. Editors-Briton Hadden and Henry R. Luce. Associates-Manfred Gottfried (National Affairs). John S. Martin (Books), Thomas J. C. Martyn (Foreign News). Weekly Contributors-John Farrar, Willard T. Ingalls, Alexander Klemin, Peter Mathews, Wells Root, Preston Lockwood, Niven Busch. Published by TIME, Inc., H. R. Luce, Pres.; J. S. Martin, VicePres.; B. Hadden, Secy-Treas.; 236 E. 39th St.. New York City. Subscription rate, one year, postpaid: In the United States and Mexico, $5.00; in Canada, $5.50; elsewhere, $6.00. For advertising rates address: Robert L. Johnson, Advertising Manager, TIME, 236 E. 39th St., New York City. New England representatives, Sweeney & Price, 127 Federal St.. Boston, Mass.: Western representatives, Powers & Stone, 38 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Ill.; Circulation Manager, Roy E. Larsen. Vol. IV, No. 26.

The Best Plays

These are the plays which, in the light of metropolitan criticism, seem most important:


THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WANTED -The Italian grape-grower of California who summons by mail a wife to grace his rural opulence. But he had white hair, while his hired man was young and handsome. Pauline Lord obliges with the greatest performance of the season.



S. S. GLENCAIRN-The O'Neill cycle of one-act plays moved up from Greenwich Village. Powerful primitives of our first dramatist.

WHITE CARGO-Eight companies are explaining to the U. S. and England just what happens to a white man w lives too long among the blacks of Africa.

SILENCE-The old crook contrivances rearranged to make a taut evening. H. B. Warner is the man who escapes the electric chair.

DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS-One young bride, one old husband, his grown son. All this cut from New England flint by the biting edges of Eugene O'Neill's dramatic implements.

CONSCIENCE-Prominent for the poignant performance of the hitherto unknown Lillian Foster. Returning from jail, the husband finds his wife reduced, through poverty, to prostitution.

WHAT PRICE GLORY?-Stripping war of its medals and mockery. All the ironic bitterness of the muddy fronts of France in flawless production and performance.


THE SHOW-OFF-The only worthwhile comedy survival of the past season. A man who believes that words speak louder than actions.

GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE-The incisive, yet elusive, personality of Ina Claire in a Continental comedy of divorce and domesticity.

THE FARMER'S WIFE-Certain hilarious experiments by a farmer-widower in persuading almost any one of his eligible acquaintances to be his bride.

MINICK-America, middle class. The grinding jealousy of little things when an old man comes to live with his daughter's family.

THE FIREBRAND-Gaudy irreverence toward the days and nights of Benvenuto Cellini, famed and garrulous goldsmith.

QUARANTINE Reviewed in this issue.

From the lists of levity and song the following selections are counted steady winners: Lady, Be Good; Ziegfeld Follies, Dixie to Broadway, Kid Boots, I'll Say She Is. Rose Marie. The Grab Bag, The Music Box Revue.


Bedlam Blasted*

Author Hecht, Cursing, Burrows Morbidly through the Loams of Illusion

The Story. Mr. Winkelberg, a paunchy Dutch biped, sold cheap jewelry in Chicago. In the hairy bulb between Mr. Winkelberg's shoulders was accumulated a small mass of miscellaneous garbage which Mr. Winkelberg called his opinions, his beliefs, his reasons, his god.

There were many Winkelberg relatives, all the same. The whole city,

lusting and pulsing in greedy dark animalism, was a city of Winkelbergs. There were a million such Winkelberg cities, a world full of them, a Winkelberg mankind. Every dawn, when the red sun bowled up over the earth, all the Winkelberg bulbs stirred in a blind organism known to the Winkelbergs as a day of life. Personified, this day was a disheveled maniac, a Humpty Dumpty in streaming cheesecloth toga, bawling fresh tidings from Bedlam down the winds of the earth.

So, at least, it all seemed to Kent Savaron, Hechtic mooncalf from Wisconsin. He rocketed into Chicago, impelled by a desire to write. Glutted with his boyhood, gorged with reading, he feasted immoderately on the profuse externals of the city. As he fed, self-consciousness awoke and introspection tickled and whetted his emotional appetites. These he celebrated with loose living and brilliant adjectival bombinations, in print and conversation. As he became conscious of the Winkelbergs, their repulsiveness deepened his subjectivity into fiercer and fiercer hunger for experience, a hunger that consumed life and fed, most gruesomely, upon itself. When he married Stella Winkelberg it was largely to inflict a wound upon the body Winkelberg and to revel in the gradval perversion of one of its members. Stella inevitably revenged her kind by plunging Savaron down the abyss of sex. Writing his autobiography afforded him a ledge to cling to temporarily. Then that crumbled and he dreamed dizzily of himself as imprisoned by the Winkelbergs, craning out of a lopsided tenement window in a nightcap, blowing kisses into infinity. He left Stella, struggled a while to brake his racing thoughts, then blew his tired brains out.

The Significance. The tree of life has roots as well as branches. Shelley shinnied to the topmost twig, sway

HUMPTY DUMPTY-Ben Hecht-Boni & Liveright ($2.00).


-kind to dogs

ing above sanity with piercing cries of joy. Savaron, cursing brilliantly, burrowed down through the loams of illusion to the last dark rootlet of which words can tell. Psychologically, the book is a faultless exposition of the destructive approach to supermanhood. It would be restless reading for maiden aunts, a dangerous typhoon for souls without some windward anchor of faith or stupidity.

The Author. It may seem surprising that Author Hecht is not notorious as a violent madman. This intelligently savage Savaron biography is an improvisation upon his own. But Mr. Hecht, though dark, shaggy and demonaical of mien, managed to continue for 13 years as a trusted employe of The Chicago Journal and The Chicago Daily News; he is now at large in Manhattan as press agent for Joseph Schildkraut in The Firebrand. Aged 31, he has a wife and two children. He is kind to dogs, children and old people. From this it would appear that his state of mind, however uncomfortable it may be when he writes, is not without some solace. So far, it has made of him nothing more fearsome than the journalistic James Joyce of America.

Born of Slavic parentage at Racine, Wis., Mr. Hecht punctuated his career in Chicago with Eric Dorn, "most arresting novel of 1921." Humpty Dumpty is a replica of that book, with new characters and an amplified concatenation of philosophical firecrackers. Other Hechtiana: A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago (sketches), Gargoyles (flaying journalistic and

juridical hypocrisies), The Florentine Dagger (a mystery novel, alleged to have been written in 24 hours, on a bet), Fantazius Mallare and its sequel, The Kingdom of Evil (studies in the elephantiasis of carnal lust, for the first of which Author Hecht, being poor, was temporarily imprisoned) and The Egotist (played by Actor Leo Dietrichstein).


America of the Fifties

THE LETTERS OF FREDERIKA BREMEREdited by Adolf B. Bronson-The American-Scandinavian Foundation ($2.00). In roaring, lynching, razzle-dazzle, hellfor-leather '49, when men went mad for gold in California, when Longfellow wrote poetry in Cambridge and carpenters got 16 dollars a day; when Choctaw Indians came to Christ and dying John Calhoun, his eyes like fetch candles, stood up to speak in the U. S. Senate, there came to these shores a middleaged Swedish spinster who had written novels. Her friend Hawthorne said that she was worthy of being the maiden aunt of the whole human race; at all events her name, Frederika Bremer, forgotten now, was then known in every house. Here and there she visited, met most of the famed people in the U. S., observed the quaint customs of the land, described it all in letters to her sister back in Sweden. Her letters were published soon after and widely read. Now they have been republished.

Her novels-Hertha, The President's Daughter, The Home, The Neighbors, Nina-were never trim enough to make the passage between Today and Yesterday; lugubrious galleons, in that gulf they foundered. But time has preserved her letters in their own sharp salt; and the lapse of this half-century has bred in them a charm, a pathos they could never have had in the beginning the charm of the ingenuous, the pathos of the unaware. Here was

a little lady looking at a country sick with dysentery, fever in its veins and the drums of war tapping. She obIserved with the keenness of a cocotte and wrote with the freshness of a nun. Thinking herself at a garden partyas indeed she was-she perfectly described the setting for one of the bloodiest trials of of history. Great people walk absently through her pages. Emerson, whose soul she compares to a glass of water; Washington Irving, "a man with large, beautiful eyes"; James Russell Lowell, "brilliant, witty, gay"; Henry Clay uttering his battle-cry "California", "the last syllable of which he pronounced in a peculiar way"; Amos B. Alcott, advised to drink milk to make his transcendentalism less foggy; farmers, slave holders, Abolitionists, preachers, pale brides, dark chivalrous gentlemen, all brought strangely back in the letters of this little old maid, out of a dead world, out of a lost time.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »