Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

and, withal, a fine portrayal of two contrasting race types, make the book a notable one.

To make a bridge between the philosophies of Carlyle and Tolstoi is the aim of Mrs. May Alden Ward's "Prophets of the Nineteenth Century." It contains sympathetic and discerning sketches of three lives, Carlyle's, Ruskin's and Tolstoi's, and the significance of their message, the influence of one man upon another being interestingly set forth. Crisp and compact, with a pleasant narrative style and in a convenient pocket size, the timely little volume will find acceptance. Little, Brown & Co.

whose book is the source from which many historians have drawn their personal sketches, wrote with a vivid admiration for the man whom she makes a hero, and with a charm that it is impossible to escape. Many people of note, Russian, Polish or French, figure in these captivating pages, which are interesting in their unconscious revelation of the writer herself as in their deliberate and sometimes even amusing hero-worship. The translation, by Mary Berenice Patterson, is excellent. A. C. McClurg & Co.

A book to be devoured by the average girl is “Memory Street," by Martha Baker Dunn, which L. C. Page & Co. publish. The heroine, who tells the tale herself, first appears as an entertaining and weirdly intelligent child, with the determination to avoid the evils of matrimony, but her progress is marked by acquaintance with a number of young men who in fiction or out of it would be considered decidedly pleasant fellows, and her original intentions undergo a change. An old mansion house, one hero who vibrates between England and America, picnics and parties, a delightful fairy godmother and a whole company of well-bred people, make the book a pleasant one; but there is also an earnest note under all the sprightliness which gives it additional worth.

The following graphic description of Tolstoi's literary habits is given by the German journal, Die Woche:

Tolstoi takes the utmost pains with bis work. His manuscripts are written five or six times, and sometimes he writes single chapters ten times over before he is satisfied with them. His corrections are a torture for compositors, since he fills page after page with new words and sentences, and also makes numerous erasures and other alterations. The last proof shows as much evidence of careful study as the first one, and it is not too much to say that every line which he writes is rather wrung from him than voluntarily given to the printer. Countess Sophie is the most severe critic of his works, and her judgment has much weight with him. He has thrown aside a completed romance because she did not like it, and nothing will induce him to publish it. He also likes to read his new works, before they are published, to a few intimate friends, and the suggestions which he receives on such occasions cause him to make several alterations. Thus, in the hope of obtaining some useful suggestions, he read “The Power of Darkness” to a group of peasants, but he was most painfully surprised to discover that the most startling scenes in the book, scenes which he himself could not read without tears, only evoked loud laughter from them.

A narrative that was new and exciting three-quarters of a century ago, and will be almost as new and decidedly as fascinating to its present-day readers, is the “Historical Memoirs of Alexander I and the Court of Russia," by the Comtesse de Choiseul-Gouffier. It is fact rendered more entertaining than fiction. The Comtesse, who was an intimate friend of the Emperor, and

[ocr errors]

Back to Christ. By Walter Spence. A. Emperor Alexander I, and the Court of
C. McClurg & Co. Price, $1.00.

Russia, Historical Memoirs of. Ву

Mme. la Comtesse de Baden-Powell, The Story of. By Har

Choiseul

Geuffier. Translated by Mary Bereold Begbie. Grant Richards.

nice Patterson. A. C. McClurg & Co. Baron's Sons, The. By Maurus Jokai.

Price, $1.50.
L. C. Page & Co. Price, $1.50.
Birds, Among the, in Northern Shires.

Fast and Loose. By Major Arthur
By Charles Dixon. Blackie & Sons.

Griffiths. John Macqueen.
Black Homer of Jimtown, The. By Georgie. By S. E. Kiser. Small, May-
Ed. Mott. Grosset & Dunlap. Price,

nard & Co. Price, $1.00. $1.25.

Gifts of Enemies, The. By G. E. Mit-
Black Terror, The. By John K. Leys. ton. A. & C. Black.
L. C. Page & Co. Price, $1.50.

Ladysmith, The Siege of. By R. J.
Bride Roses. By W. D. Howells.

McHugh. Chapman & Hall. Houghton, Miffin & Co. Price $0.50.

Little Lady Mary. By Horace G. British People, The Origin and Charac

Hutchinson, Smith, Elder & Co. ter of the. By Nottidge Charles Macnamara. Smith, Elder & Co.

McLoughlin and old Oregon. By Eva

Emery Dye. A. C. McClurg & Co. Chevalier of the Splendid Crest, The.

Price, $1.50, By Sir Herbert Maxwell. Blackwood & Sons.

Memory Street. By Martha Baker

Dunn. L. C. Page & Co.
Colombian and Venezuelan Republics,
The. By William L. Scruggs. Little,

Mystery of Muncraig, The.

By Brown & Co. Price, $2.50.

Robert James Muir. T. Fisher Un

win. Crown of Christ, The. By R. E. Hutton. Vol. . II, Easter

Oh, What a Plague is Love. By Kath

to Advent. Rivingtons.

arine Tynan. A. C. McClurg & Co.

Price, $0.75. David and His Friends. By Louis Albert Banks. Funk & Wagnalls Co.

Prophets of the Nineteenth Century. Price, $1.50.

Carlyle, Ruskin, Tolstoi. By May

Alden Ward. Little, Brown & Co. Decatur, Stepben. The Beacon Biog

Price, $0.75. raphies. By Cyrus Townsend Brady. Small, Maynard & Co. Price, $0.75.

Room Forty-five. By W. D. Howells.

Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Price, $0.50.
Diary of a Dreamer, The. By Alice
Dew Smith. T. Fisher Unwin.

Ruskin, John. By Mrs. Meynell.

Blackwood Sons.
Dread and Fear of Kings, The.
J. Breckenridge Ellis. A. C. McClurg

Scenery, The Scientific Study of. By & Co. Price, $1.25.

John E. Marr. Methuen & Co. Dream of a Throne, A. By Charles To the Healing of the Sea. By Francis Fleming Embree. Little, Brown &

H. Hardy. Smith, Elder & Co. Co. Price, $1.50.

Wadham College, Oxford, Sketches of. Drift Verses. By Horatio F. Brown.

By Edwin Glasgow. Methuen & Co.
Grant Richards.

War, Side-lights on the. By Lady
England and America after Independ- Sykes. T. Fisher Unwin.
ence. By Edward Smith. Archibald Wedge of War, The. By Frances S.
Constable & Co.

Hallowes. Elliot Stock.

By

[blocks in formation]

Our heavy task in South Africa must not render us blind to the coming crisis in Afghanistan, and we ought to feel grateful to the Ameer Abdurrahman for publicly reminding us that it is "a time for action and not for mere talk.” The proximity of Russian troops to Herat, however, is not a more pressing cause of anxiety than the difficulty of discovering some solid basis for complete confidence and harmonious action between the Afghan ruler and ourselves. The Ameer is very keenly alive to the perils of the hour. No one can say that he underrates them, but, unfortunately, the suggestions made to him by the government of India, with the object of providing against possible contingencies, are not acceptable to him, because they hurt his susceptibilities, and seem to detract from the security of his sovereign position. Lord Curzon has, throughout the correspondence, been most anxious to conciliate the Ameer; yet there is no question that our neighbor is at this moment somewhat sore with us, or, to say the least, in an irritable mood. It is not that he has any sympathy with Russia, but the first object of his policy throughout his rule has been the maintenance of his independent sovereignty, and that seems to him sometimes to be threatened as much by English requests as Russian menaces.

The present situation is one when these views are uppermost in the mind of our ally. He has been very much disturbed by Russian movements on his frontier. He has had fears that Russia might make a swoop on Herat during the winter, when it would be difficult to send reinforcements to that quarter. He has several times asked the Indian Government what he should do to meet the danger he anticipates, and the only reply accorded him is to advise him to sit tight and do nothing. That this counsel is not to his fancy is well known. He is convinced that Russia means to advance, and he holds that the only way to check her progress is to roll her back along the track she has traversed. We probably all share his opinion about Russia's intentions, but we have not yet brought ourselves to the mood to adopt what he considers the only true remedy. On the contrary, we think that there are several preliminary matters in regard to which the Ameer might do very useful work if he would only listen to our advice and our demands. We have suggested to him that it would be prudent to allow the continuation of our railway to Candahar, and the construction of a telegraph to Herat and other places in his territory. The Ameer's reply to these proposals is a flat refusal, and he goes on to say that “his people (which

are

means himself) look upon railways and and timely intimation that it will be telegraphs as a source of ruin." His treated as a casus belli. We have not irritation does not stop here, for he in- done this because, in the strict sense of sinuates that the suggestion should the phrase, we have no fixed Afghan never have been made, and he pro- policy in our Imperial program.

We nounces it most impolitic. It must be have constructed, by agreement with admitted that in all this the Ameer has Russia, a frontier for Afghanistan on been quite consistent with his past dec. parchment, but the Ameer knows as larations. In his "Nasab-i-Namsheh,” well as the man in the street that we published in 1886, he said railways have never told Russia that its infracwere not wanted in Afghanistan, and tion would be instantly followed by a in replying to the Russians when they declaration of war. The Russian Govsuggested continuing the Kushk rail- ernment is aware of the probability of way to Herat, he declared that "our our doing so, but there circumcamels and pack-horses suffice for our stances under which it might be willing trade.” On the other hand, how is Af- to incur the risk, and the result might ghanistan to remain outside the World's justify its belief that England would movement by adhering to an exclusive not fight for the possession of Herat. policy which even China has been com- Certainly the only way to prevent Ruspelled to abandon? The Ameer is a sia falling into the error, if it proved very clever man, and there must surely one, would be to make her realize bebe some way of inducing him to sanc- forehand that we will oppose with all tion measures that are intended to our power an attack upon that famous benefit his country quite as much as fortress. ourselves. The common ground be- Practically speaking, we have the tween us must be sought for an iden- choice between only two policies in tity of interest. He has a dynasty to Afghanistan. One is the maintenance perpetuate; we have an Empire to pre- of its integrity-even without unity. serve.

The other, after some preliminary The pressing and immediate matter stages, would result in the division of which we have to decide is, what policy the country between Russia and ourdo we intend to carry out in Afghanis- selves. It is high time for us to make tan? Everything hinges on that ques- a choice between these two courses, tion. We cannot expect the Ameer to and to begin to apply the measures make sacrifices for us while he is un- necessary to ensure the success of the certain as to whether we mean to up- policy that we decide to adopt. I hope hold the unity of his kingdom for him- to make it clear, before the end of this self and his successors. At present the article, that the maintenance of the inonly assurance he holds is, that we tegrity of Afghanistan is a far safer "will help Afghanistan to resist un- and more honorable policy than that of provoked aggression.” But the Ameer its partition. is not satisfied with this arrangement, If we decide for the maintenance of because he sees that Russia is acquir- the integrity and independence of Afing, by means of military camps on his ghanistan under the present Ameer, his frontier in railway communication with heir Habibullah and their successors, their base on the Caspian, a position a clear and unequivocal notification of which, at the given moment, will enable the fact should be published. The new her to invade his country with a cer- convention should not be pigeon-holed tainty of success, unless England ar- in a Secret and Political Department, rests the Russian advance with a clear but announced in the light of day as the principle by which our conduct unopposed cession of Herat and Balkb would be guided, and with which we would be averted. should expect Russia to conform. In Turning to the other side of the picplace of the vague and unmeaning ture, the drawbacks of the new arpromise of “support against unprovoked rangement would chiefly consist in our foreign aggression,” which is all he has being compelled to face the facts of the at present, the Ameer would receive a situation, and to announce to the world definite guarantee of the preservation beforehand that we were prepared to of his sovereignty, and of its continu- oppose the realization of Russia's deance in his dynasty. The ambiguity as signs on Afghanistan as threatening to our future policy would be removed the security and peace of India. In in a sense favorable to the aspirations reality, this plain speaking would not of the Afghan ruler, and on our taking add to the general information except a step from which there could be no go- by showing that instead of postponing ing back, the suggestions now made our measures until the crisis was upon only to be rejected would wear a dif. us, we had anticipated it by preparing ferent aspect in his eyes. Having taken beforeband a plan of combined action this decided step in the direction of per- with our allies. There would be no manently attaching the interests of the risk of Russia resenting it, because she two countries together, several conces- is not ready for war; and there would sions of a minor character, but much be no legitimate ground of offence in desired by Abdurrahman, could be England and the Ameer investing with made to him. Among these I will only greater precision their already existing specify the gratification of his long agreements of 1881, 1885 and 1893. If expressed desire to have a diplomatic Russia did resent it, we should only agent in London. In view of the learn the truth a little sooner and have greater objects to be attained, the Gov- to face what we must some day, viz., ernment of India might well waive its a struggle for the preservation of India. old opposition to the scheme on the To take Afghanistan under our protecground that it enabled the Ameer to go tion in the form of a dual alliance, over the head or behind the back of the which will be alone agreeable to the Viceroy.

Ameer, requires that moral courage The advantages of the policy of main- which was lacking after Majuba Hill, tenance are clear. It conciliates the and for which the country has since Ameer and removes his doubts. It had to pay such an enormous penalty convinces the people of Afghanistan in blood and treasure. that we have no designs on their coun. For the alternative policy of dividing try, and that we are ready to assist Afghanistan there is not an argument them against any Russian invasion. to be advanced of which the writer From our own point of view it has would not feel secretly ashamed. But the two immense advantages of arrest- it is necessary to show that it would ing the Russian advance at the farthest be disadvantageous as well as despicpossible points from the Indian frontier able, for the Imperial spirit aroused by and of uniting all the tribes and races events in South Africa may again beof Afghanistan in opposition to it. The come sluggish and induce our rulers to stimulating effect of such a decision acquiesce in injuries and affronts as on the courage and confidence of the some of them have done before. The Princes and all the Imperial armies of ever-growing burden of “the weary India would be incalculable, and the in- Titan" will always provide Little-Engevitable loss of prestige by a tame and landers with an argument in favor of

« ForrigeFortsæt »