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about the trains back to town. It may be objected that if one does not like such parties, one need not go to them. Certainly any hard-worked man who frequents them habitually must prefer the society of his acquaintances to that of his friends, and be rather foolish into the bargain; for he has to work as hard at them as he does in town. But one may criticize other people's pleasures as well as one's own, and I am considering these parties from the point of view of the people who are the real mainstay of them; people who, as a rule, are not hardworking, the problem of whose lives is chiefly the problem of their pleasures, and who are able to devote themselves entirely to extracting as much amusement as possible out of life. For these people the week-end party, which is full of interest and novelty for the onlooker seems to me to be a mistake. It does not seem to be worth spending four hours in the train to play the same games and meet the same people as you play and meet amid the greater conveniences of London. It is unnecessary to say that the standard of material luxury in houses where such functions are held is such as would stagger anyone who looked upon it with detachment of mind, and considered what it really meant. But even from the week-ender's point of view a change of diet would surely be both agreeable and beneficial, and his palate and his digestive organs would alike appreciate a rest from the rich sauces and the eternal champagne and port of his everyday existence. But nowadays to go from London to the country in such circumstances is like emigrating from the Carlton to the Ritz.
This kind of entertainment needs more skill to make it tolerable than almost any other; yet it is indulged in chiefly by people who bring no great intelligence or trouble to bear upon it,
and leave its organization almost en tirely to their servants. In my own limited knowledge only one English hostess has made a complete success of it; and she really lives in the country and makes a fine study of blending people of quite different occupations and habits, so that visitors to her house can always be sure not only of making new acquaintances, but of meeting people whom they do not meet in their ordinary round; and her house is constantly the birthplace of many lasting interests and friendships. For that reason it has become an institution quite unique in English life, and may be said, with very slight exaggeration, to have a national rather than a merely social influence. It is as far removed as possible from the kind of party which I am describing, where the guests are merely gathered in the great drag-net of London, and assembled without selection or discrimination. Contrast such an entertainment with the ideal visit to friends in the country, where amid familiar scenes and familiar people a fagged brain may really rest and refresh itself and be absorbed for a little, not into some feverish and organized entertainment, but into the quieter and saner life of the people of the house. The peace and dignity of family life in the country is one of the last remaining glories of English society; it is life brought to perfection, where children grow up amid ideal conditions, their duties and pleasures equally harmonious with their state and environment, and the life of the house providing an atmosphere the breathing of which is restorative, and access to which is an intimate privilege. The wise man selects for his week-end holiday the house where such an atmosphere exists, where the people are friends and not mere acquaintances, where no elaborate efforts are made to amuse him, and where the only demand made upon him is a tol
erable one of making a tour of the "improvements."
As for the smart week-enders, I think that it would be a benefit to society generally if they remained in London. The old London social Sunday was a not unpleasant day, with its informal visiting of people otherwise The Saturday Review.
hardly ever seen, and its pleasant impromptu dinner parties, its cognizance even of such institutions as churches and concerts. It was supposed to be dull; but that was only because it was quiet. It was not nearly so dull as the smart week-end party in the country.
THE SUBJECTION OF MAN.
The revised figures as to population in England and Wales just published by the Registrar-General bring out, among other important facts, the decided preponderance of women. That they are in a majority is, of course, known-statisticians long ago discovered this fact; that they outnumber men by little less than one million two hundred thousand-that for 1,000 men there are 1,068 women-will have come as a surprise to many. The causes which bring about the excess of one part of humanity are probably permanent; in the view of certain inquirers there is reason to think that some of them may be increasing in potency. The outlook is therefore a future state of society in which the numerical inferiority, some might say the subjection, of man may be even more distinct than the present figures show. Among the many consequences some of the most obvious are the economical, and they are not all to the good. In the employments into which women now enter the change will mean more competitors-more would-be typists, clerks, secretaries; more persons ready to do the kinds of manual work now performed by women. There will, too, be more crowding into other walks of life, with the consequent production of more artists whose pictures will not sell, more singers who give no pleasure, more reciters who are the terror of their friends, and more writers who
lower the remuneration of their sisters living by their work, who are either failures or who achieve only a succès d'estime. There must be in many occupations cutting of wages and remuneration already in all conscience low enough. The non-economical effects of this excess are harder to trace, but they are likely to be very distinct in the middle and well-to-do-classes. As to them this preponderance means in all probability the increase of that body of women, already large, who, not marrying and not dependent upon their labor for their subsistence, turn with more or less zeal to philanthropic work more or less real, or to amusements more or less harmless. In any circumstances, with such changes might be expected restlessness, symptoms of malaise, instability, strange social movements, and curious insurrections against conventions. But the full effect is not appreciated if we do not take note of the co-existence of this numerical superiority with a low marriage-rate and a low birth-rate; in other words, with a large withdrawal of women from the chief occupations and concerns of past generations. The disappearance of the baby is the most striking fact as to certain classes. The pet dog has taken its place. The affection which the women of one generation gave to their children is centred by many nowadays in a poodle or a pug or the latest thing in puppies.
There are strange mixtures of the boudoir or drawing-room and the kennel. Toymakers say that the sale of dolls is diminishing; the young imitate their elders. Not the most penetrating vision can discern all the consequences of this threefold fact-the numerical preponderance of women, the decrease of the marriage-rate, and the decline in the birth-rate. But we may be sure that they will have farreaching transforming consequences.
One speculation as to this subject may be mentioned. Moralists tell us— Nietzsche is only one of a thousand who preach the doctrine-that the world is becoming in its virtues and failings more and more feminine; that the virile qualities and standard of conduct are being replaced by others which may be better, but which are very different; that the hard combative elements are being eliminated. We are more sympathetic, more pitiful, more pacific. The amenities of life multiply and are refined. Douceur de vivre is better understood and practiced. Each age has its standard of virtues. At their summit no longer stands courage. As Paulsen remarks, some of the older virtues have come to be classed as vices. Could an Englishman of the seventeenth or eighteenth century revisit his old haunts he would be pretty sure to say that his descendants had become more feminine in speech, habits and thoughts. If he was candid he would admit that things had improved much and in many ways since he departed. He might be
convinced that it was possible to have strength without brutality, and that life was richer by the infusion of the new elements. But he might still insist that there was much which was questionable and hazardous and of doubtful duration. He might urge that the excess of one kind in Europe should as soon as possible be corrected by utilizing the excess of an opposite kind in other countries, especially some of our Colonies and the American States. He might assert that those who do the main part of the work of the world, and those who have so far done most for its progress, ought to exercise the most influence, and that a world in which that is not so is somewhat off its balance. Whether the impartial historian would support him-whether upon a fair retrospect it would appear that in what might be called the feminine ages and races things were better or worse than in the more masculine-need not now be inquired. But our hypothetical Englishman, dropping out of the seventeenth or eighteenth century, would have much to urge in favor of his opinion that ours was a feminine age as compared with his. Tell him the figures which we have quoted, show him the facts which point to an accentuation of the preponderance of women, and he might not be convinced that the outlook was all for the best, or that in future struggles communities in which these characteristics were most prevalent would be sure to hold their own.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
Dr. Francis Rolt-Wheeler has placed the manuscript of his forthcoming book, "The Boy with the U. S. Fisheries," with the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries for criticism. It is to be published this fall by the Lothrop, Lee &
Shepard Co., and is the fourth volume of the U. S. Service Series, each volume of which deals in story form with some important field of Government activity, and is submitted before publication to the Bureau or Governmental
Department which is made the basis of the story, and from which the necessary information has been drawn. This arrangement secures accuracy in a unique line of books of unusual value in making the American citizen of tomorrow.
In a little volume entitled "Some of Life's Ideals," Henry Holt & Co. reprint two of Professor William James's most characteristic essays,-On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings and What Makes a Life Significant. These were originally given as talks to students, and they retain the freshness of direct personal appeal incident to their original purpose. The blindness of which Professor James here speaks is that with which we are afflicted in regard to the feelings of creatures and people different from ourselves; and the thing which gives life its significance is its ideals. These thoughts,in themselves not especially novel, are enforced and illustrated with a humor, a freshness and a sympathy which make the essays at once delightful and stimulating.
In "The Court of St. Simon," Anthony Partridge gives us a stirring glimpse of the Parisian under world, and the criminals who dwell there. St. Simon is an Englishman by birth, who employs real criminals to aid him in carrying on an improvised court where justice, as St. Simon conceives it, is meted out. In the course of time St. Simon loves and marries a fine, highminded English woman and leaves his old life and questionable companions. She, however, has one defect, a hard and unforgiving nature, and when she learns the truth about St. Simon's past she leaves him. The weaving of the threads which finally bring them together again forms an absorbing tale. The rapidity of the action blinds the reader to many improbabilities, and the interest is more than sufficient to
hold his attention closely throughout. Little, Brown and Company.
"The Gift of Abou Hassan," by Francis Perry Elliott is just the right mixture of realism and whimsical fancy, of old worldliness and modern smartness. The plot is slight but diverting. Two young people meet at the shop of an oriental curio merchant. A rug, whose magical qualities are unsuspected even by the dealer, furnishes an excellent opportunity for them to become acquainted, as anyone who steps upon it is instantly invisible to those outside the rug. The young heroine's aunt, Mrs. Van Stuphen, who is the purchaser of the rug, also encounters many adventures both at the shop and after the prize has been carried to her home. The author has so light and deft a touch and creates an atmosphere so full of fun and laughter, that the story is as pleasing as the old tales of magic and mystery. It is extravagant but charmingly so, and thoroughly entertaining. Little, Brown and Company.
American readers will not be slow to perceive that in "The Flight of Faviel" by R. E. Vernède, (Henry Holt & Co.) they are introduced to a new writer who belongs in the same class with Ian Hay, but has distinctive qualities which are all his own. The story is gaily whimsical and altogether wholesome and delightful. It is the story of a wager which the hero was inveigled into making, by the terms of which he was to win or lose ten thousand pounds in an effort to prove his assertion that a man might disappear wholly from sight and for a month baffle all attempts of detectives to find him. The other end of the wager is taken by an enemy and rival who, besides his natural desire to win the stake, has the further motive of wishing the hero to have no chance to communicate with the young woman with
whom both are in love. Given a plot like this, there is a chance for not a little ingenuity in inventing possible adventures for the young man concerned. Mr. Vernède uses his opportunities with great cleverness. Through one complication after another he carries his voluntary fugitive. The plot becomes more complex and the situations more difficult with each chapter and reach a climax as the story nears the end. There is no serious villainy anywhere, unless in the initial agreement. The story is a comedy, with no really dark threads in it; and all the characters,-Faviel himself, Blenkenstein his rival, Judith Malloden, the object of the affections of both, Lady Malloden, her solicitous but not overwise aunt, Boke the detective, O'Levin, the Irish journalist, Bigstock, the rural constable, Bayford the rector, Wormyer the curate, the boy Jimmy and the rest are charmingly and convincingly natural.
"The Red Lane," by Holman Day opens with a wonderfully dramatic swing and dash and this is sustained until the last page. The institution of smuggling over the border between Canada and the United States is what the "Red Lane" really is, and we are introduced to a swaggering reckless crew whom Vetal Beaulieu, the publican, encourages at his tavern. Upon a scene of lawlessness Evangeline Beaulieu returns from a convent where she has been since childhood in ignorance of her father's real character. She loses no time in asserting herself and runs away from the place where she cannot believe it right for her to remain. Her strength of character and womanliness make her one of the most winning heroines of recent fiction. Much of the tale is taken up with the account of how her father tried to make her bow to his authority and how she kept true to herself and
"The Street Called Straight," by the author of "The Inner Shrine," is distinguished by the fine workmanship which is characteristic of its predecessors and is at the same time more broadly human. Olivia Guion, a Bostonian is about to marry an English army officer of high rank, one who prides himself on always having done precisely the "right thing" because it was expected of him. Olivia's father, it is discovered, has mismanaged trust funds, and involved many of his nearest friends in financial ruin. Guion from prison, and to redeem the fortunes of the innocent people who have trusted him, Peter Davenant, at the bidding of some instinct which he scarcely understands, offers to make good the losses. A struggle takes place in Olivia's mind as to the right course of action for her and her father to follow; whether to suffer the consequences of his wrong doing, or to place themselves under obligation to Davenant. A splendid contrast is furnished by the characters of Davenant who does right because of the greatness of his soul, and the Englishman who is honorable chiefly to avoid being thought a cad. The spirit of the book is intensely national. It is as strong as it is clever and finished. Harper and Brothers.