when he reappears in the trial-scene have done. You say the sand-slope had toward the end of the book he is a an inclination of sixty-five degrees. typical stage Yankee, and in a subse- Very well; that isn't so very steep. One quent novel, "Foul Play," he is if any- man could have lain down at full length thing even more grotesque. Instances against the slope. A second man could of pure absent-mindedness are now have walked over his body and in like very common; but a good contemporary manner stretched himself further up one is found in the "Universal History" the incline; and then a third, walking just published by Professor Fisher of over these two, until at last there would Yale. It is to be assumed that this dis- have been a human plank-walk all the tinguished student of history is thor- way to the top; on it the remaining oughly familiar with the succession of prisoners could have walked quietly out American presidents, yet in his book he of the pit without stirring the sand, and speaks of something as occurring in when out, could have helped up the President Polk's second administration. others."

An odd bit of forgetfulness on the part of Mr Rudyard Kipling was observed by the present writer some time ago. A friend, who is a great admirer of Mr. Kipling and who always expects the most scientific accuracy in everything, was greatly interested in the Indian tale entitled "The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes." It will be remembered how, in this story, Jukes while racing his horse over a lonely bit of country rolls with his mount down a steep embankment, and on coming to consciousness finds himself in a sort of amphitheater fenced in by a high slope of sand on one side and an apparently impassable morass on the other. Here are a troop of hideously spectral Hindoos who, having once been pronounced dead of cholera, came to life only to be regarded as forever unclean by their friends, who cast them down into this desolate pit. Jukes, like the rest of them, cannot escape through the morass, nor can he scale the sandbank because it is too steep, and any attempt causes the sand to come down in great masses. Now the scientific gentleman who read this story was convinced that there did exist a way in which the inhabitants of the pit could have escaped if they had been clever; and he was anxious to meet Mr. Kipling and expound this theory to him in person. So the present writer brought about an interview between the two, and after some preliminaries the scientific person said:

"Now, Mr. Kipling, this is my notion of what Jukes and the others could

"Yes, but, you know," said Mr. Kipling, "I didn't say that the angle was sixty-five degrees. I only said that the bank was very steep-in fact, much too steep for any such trick as that. Oh, no; quite impossible."

And as Mr. Kipling seemed to be intensely positive and even the least bit nettled, the author of the Jukes theory let him alone. But any one may buy the story and see for himself that the angle is there specifically recorded as one of sixty-five degrees.

These things are not merely amusing; they have a certain interest and importance of their own, and in the history of literature and textual criticism. If, for example, a novelist like Mr. Hamlin Garland can in the space of five pages describe an important character now as "Joseph" and again as "Edward," ought not scholars and critics to be very careful how they decide questions of prob able authorship on the basis of mere casual inconsistencies in the text? In fact, from Biblical investigators and Homeric iconoclasts down, it would be just as well to remember that no hypothesis is unassailable which does not take account of the very important factor which is found in human fallibility.

By Harry Thurston Peck, in "The World of Art

and Letters."

From The New England Magazine. THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.

The Christmas Spirit brings also to the people of the Christian churches a counsel of simplicity.

Jesus comes as a little child, born in poverty. He grows up in a country village, working every day with saw and hammer in a carpenter shop. He never owned a house, nor is it likely that he ever had any money beyond what was essential to his immediate needs. The details of his life are not, indeed, set forth for our imitation. We are not following him by living in his way, any more than we would be like him by wearing his Oriental dress or by speaking in his oriental speech. Because he had nowhere to lay his head we need not set out upon a pilgrimage, abandoning our homes. The real thing is to shape our lives according to his spirit. And that was the spirit of entire simplicity.

We are tempted to believe that the over-elaborate life which we customarily lead is essential to decent existence. Anything less, we think, would be a step towards a lower plane of living. Edward Fitzgerald, in his letters, wrote of one of his friends that he was "a very civilized person." We somehow feel that in order to be civilized it is necessary for us to have our manifold possessions.

But Jesus lives, for our example, a life in which all things material are reduced to the lowest terms. And it is not only a helpful but a blessed life; it is rich in the most adequate enjoyments; it is as full of genuine happiness as a life may be in a world where men have want and sin for next neighbors, and where opportunity and temptation are waiting at every corner of the street.

The initial need to enjoyment is not many possessions but much appreciation. The Japanese way is wiser than ours, when they adorn a room with a single article of beauty, a vase or a picture, and really delight in it, looking at it day after day, giving it entire attention, and presently taking it away and putting something else in the place of it; while our houses, some of them, are like the showrooms of shops. The simple life may be the richer for the smallness of its possessions. We may be impoverished by our wealth.

It is necessary, also, in order to get sincere enjoyment out of life, that we be in a measure free from anxiety and have a little quiet time. And these are conditions which go only with a simple way of living. A good many people are so busy laying up treasure on earth and so worried in the hard task of keeping and defending it after it is stored away, that they have no leisure and no mind for the treasure itself. Here is one who owns a single book, and gets more light and help and blessed friendship and counsel out of it than his neighbor whose books are marshalled along a hundred shelves. Here is another with a single picture, and that but a photograph or print, who sees more in it than his acquaintances see in all the masterpieces framed in gold which glorify their walls. It is what the Master said, that a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.

The best wealth, after all, is outof-doors, and costs nothing. The poor man, unless he live in a particularly narrow street, may extend his hand and take it any day. The best pictures are those that live and move, or across which the real clouds drift before the wind. And to possess these pictures of the sky or of the street we need pay nothing but attention.

A naked house, a naked moor
A shivering pool before the door,
A garden bare of flowers and fruit
Such is the place that I live in,
And poplars at the garden foot.

Bleak without and bare within.
Yet shall your ragged moor receive
The incomparable pomp of eve,
And the cold glories of the dawn
Behind your shivering trees be drawn;
And when the wind from place to place
Doth his unmoored cloud-galleons chase,
Your garden gloom and gleam again
With glancing sun, with falling rain.

Life is very rich and beautiful, if we would but open our eyes and our ears. The Christmas shepherds lying in the chill fields, under the stars, with their sheep about them, see heaven's golden gates ajar and hear celestial

harmonies. And so may we, though turning evil for evil, the "Youth's we be poor as they.

A good many people have an idea that one must live in a good house, and wear good clothes, and be well waited upon, and have money in the bank, in order to be happy. Some of these mistaken folk are already possessors of these privileges, and ought to know better by the testimony of their own experience. Some of them are poor folk who are genuinely unhappy, and are in search of causes and of remedies, and who are led by what they see to believe that the gaining of these material things would bring everlasting joy into their lives. To both may be presented that blessed Bethlehem Christmas, the little village, the stable and the manger, the cattle in their stalls; the peasant mother with her husband, the carpenter, men coming in out of the fields in their working clothes bringing their shepherd's staves in their hands, and the December stars shining over all. Life is here at its simplest. An example is here set which we will some day-either because we must, or because we will-be wise enough to follow. The richest life that was ever lived was lived by one of the poorest of the sons of men.

From "What the Christmas Spirit Saith Unto the Churches." By George Hodges.



The enormous circulation of Sundayschool books, both in England and America, has resulted in a constant exchange of commodities. For many years we have given as freely as we have received; and if British reviewers from the first were disposed to look askance upon our contributions, British nurseries absorbed them unhesitatingly, and British children read them, if not with interest, at least with meekness and docility. When the "Fairchild Family" and the "Lady of tue Manor" crossed the Atlantic to our hospitable shores, we sent back, e

Book of Natural Theology," in which small boys and girls argue their way, with some kind preceptor's help, from the existence of a chicken to the existence of God, thus learning at a tender age the first lessons of religious doubt. At the same time that the "Leila” books and "Mary and Florence" found their way to legions of young Americans, "The Wide, Wide World," "Queechy," and "Melbourne House" -with its intolerable 'little prig of a heroine were, if possible, more immoderately read in England than at home. And in this case, the serious wrong-doing lies at our doors. If the "Leila" books be rather too full of sermons and pious conversations, long conversations of an uncompromisingly didactic order, they are nevertheless interesting and wholesome, brimming with adventures, and humanized by a very agreeable sense of fun. Moreover, these English children, although incredibly good, have the grace to be unconscious of their goodness. Even Selina, who, like young Wackford Squeers, is "next door but one to a cherubim," is apparently unaware of the fact. Leila does not instruct her father. She receives counsel quite humbly from his lips, though she is full eight years old when the first volume opens. Matilda has never any occasion to remonstrate gently with her mother; and little Alfred fails, in the whole course of his infant life, to once awaken in his parents' friends an acute sense of their own unworthi

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feeble arguments with denunciatory fice-successor to him over whom the

texts. We first surrounded her with the persecutions of the worldly minded, that her virtues might shine more glaringly in the gloom, and disquisitions on duty be never out of place. Daisy, in "Melbourne House," is an example of a perniciously good child who has the conversion of her family on her hands, and is well aware of the dignity of her position. Her trials and triumphs, her tears and prayers, her sufferings and rewards fill two portly volumes, and have doubtless inspired many a young reader to set immediately about the correction of her parents' faults. The same lesson is taught with even greater emphasis by a more recent writer, whose works, I am told, are so exceedingly popular that she is not permitted to lay down her pen. Hundreds or letters reach her every year, begging for a new "Elsie" book, and the amiability with which she responds to the demand has resulted in a fair-sized library-twice as many volumes probably as Sir Walter Scott ever read in the whole course of his childish life.

Doctor had triumphed gloriously-and amid an immense variety of rural information, mentioned that he was arranging a sale of household effects at Drumtochty Manse. Jock was never known to be so dilatory with an advertisement before, and ere he got it out Lord Kilspindie had come to terms with the liquidator and settled the Doctor's belongings on him for life.

The insurrection in the manse oozed out, and encouraged a conspiracy of rebellion in which even the meekest people were concerned. Jean Baxter of Burnbrae, who had grasped greedily at the dairy contract of the manse, when the glebe was let to Netherton, declined to render any account to Rebecca, and the Doctor had to take the matter in hand.

"There's a little business, Mrs. Baxter, I would like to settle with you, as I happen to be here." The Doctor had dropped in on his way back from Whinny Knowe, where Marget and he had been talking of George for two

From "Little Pharisees in Fiction." By Agnes hours. You know that I have to be,



The Doctor's determination-after the calamity of the bank failure-to reduce himself to the depths of poverty was wonderful, but Drumtochty was cunning and full of tact. He might surrender his invested means and reserve only one hundred pounds a year out of his living, but when he sent for the Kildrummie auctioneer and instructed him to sell every stick of furniture, except a bare minimum for one sitting-room and a bedroom, Jock accepted the commission at once, and proceeded at eleven miles an hourhaving just bought a new horse-to take counsel with Drumsheugh. Next Friday he dropped into the factor's of

eh-careful now, and I-you will let me pay what we owe for that delicious butter you are good enough to supply."

"Ye 'ill surely tak a look roond the fields first, Doctor, an' tell's what ye think o' the crops;" and after that it was necessary for him to take tea. Again and again he was foiled, but took a firm stand by the hydrangea in the garden, and John Baxter stood aside that the affair might be decided in single combat.

"Now, Mrs. Baxter, before leaving I must insist," began the Doctor with authority, and his stick was in his hand; but Jean saw a geographical advantage, and seized it instantly.

"Div ye mind, sir, comin' tae this gairden five year syne this month, and stannin' on that verra spot aside the hydrangy?"

The Doctor scented danger, but he could not retreat.

"Weel, at ony rate, John an' me dinna forget that day, an' never wull,

for we were makin' ready tae leave the home o' the Baxters for mony generations, an' it wes you that stoppit us. Ye 'ill maybe no mind what ye said tae me."

From The Review of Reviews. HOUSING REFORM IN NEW YORK. There is great danger that movements in which philanthropy forms a part may become sporadic. Time and

"We 'ill not talk of that to-day, Mrs. again we have seen interesting moveBaxter-that's past and over." "Aye, it's past, but it's no over, Doctor Davidson; na, na, John an' me wesna made that wy. Ye may lauch at a fulish auld wife, but ilka kirnin' (churning) day ye veesit us again. When a'm turnin' the kirn a' see ye comin' up the road, an' a' gar the handle keep time wi' yir step; when a' tak oot the bonnie yellow butter ye're stannin' in the gairden, an' then a' stamp ae pund wi' buttercups, an' a' say, 'You're not away yet, Burnbræ, you're not away yet'-that wes yir word tae the gude man; and when the ither stamp comes doon on the second pund and leaves the bonnie daisies on't, 'Better late than never, Burnbrae; better late than never, Burnbrae.' Ye said that afore ye left, Doctor."

Baxter was amazed at his wife, and the Doctor saw himself defeated.


"Mony a time has John an' me sat in the summer-hoose an' brocht back that day, an' móny a time hev we wantit tae dae somethin' for him that keepit the auld roof-tree abune heads. God forgie me, Doctor, but when a' heard ye hed gien up yir glebe ma hert loupit, an' a' said tae John, "The 'ill no want for butter at the manse sae lang as there's a Baxter in Burnbrae.'

"Dinna be angry, sir." But the flush that brought the Doctor's face unto a state of perfection was not anger. "A' ken it's a leeberty we're takin', an' maybe a'm presumin' ower far, but gin ye kent hoo sair oor herts were wi' gratitude, ye wudna deny us this kindness."

"Ye 'ill lat the Doctor come awa

noo, gude wife, tae see the young horse," and Doctor Davidson was grateful to Burnbrae for covering his retreat.

From "How Dr. Davidson Kept His Last Christmas at Drumtochty." By Ian Maclaren.

ments restricted to a very limited sphere, and realizing but half their promise. The reason for this state of things is that organization is effected simply with present considerations in mind, and without a comprehensive programme or outlook. The gentlemen interested in the work of the Improved Housing Council determined that, whatever practical agency should be organized, they would guard against such dangers. With this end in view they determined to select as president and leader of their enterprise one who, from his previous studies and practical knowledge of the various phases of the problem, could fairly be esteemed to possess an outlook.1 Improved housing, even though it may have a commercial basis, is nevertheless a sociological problem; and success in dealing with it must depend to a considerable extent upon a right understanding of sociological conditions. It was, therefore, probably a wise thing to select for the president of the new organization one thoroughly trained on the academic side, but whose sympathy has always been chiefly enlisted toward the practical rather than the theoretical side of social problems.

Accordingly a company was conceived which would deal at present with two important and distinct phases of the housing problem, and, when successful therein, extend its sphere of work so as to include whatever had been left out of the initial programme. Improved housing having survived the experimental phase, both economically and sociologically, the promoters felt safe in organizing an investment company largely on the model of some of the London housing corporations, but with a somewhat wider aim.

The proper way to begin a reform in the living conditions of the wage earn1 Dr. E. R. L. Gould.

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