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book fails on the count of philosophy. The book is advertised as “a very modern story of the challenge of these times to the world of a middle-aged English vicar. A story of the loss of old-time faith and the gulf between the generations." Heavens! have all the other challengers of modern novelists to middleaged Englishmen been so ineffectual as to make Mr. Galsworthy feel obliged to blow a blast? As for the old-time faith, of course religious thinkers are inclined to laugh at such men as Mr. Galsworthy, because he writes as if he were responsible for the startling discovery that the old-time faith, mamma dear, is lost. And as for the gulf, somehow it seems to have existed between most generations as well in Athens as London. But how much will a parent alter home nature? The attitude Mr. Galsworthy seems very nearly to take is, that the Saint and his children were alike in their yearning for human love, and in their passions, but that somehow the Saint's religion and his need of religion was not a part of his human nature and hence, I suppose, noninheritable. In short, the reader is left in some doubt. Does Mr. Galsworthy believe that it is the flesh which liveth and the spirit which dieth? Does immortality consist merely of the indestructibles of matter? Yes, somehow the book as philosophy or sociology or theology is not good.
Finally, it occurs to one, that even if it had been through the centuries left for Mr. Galsworthy to give Christianity its deathblow, he might have availed himself of the English sporting spirit and chosen to give the coup de grace to a "man-sized man" and not to a creature of straw. Mr. Galsworthy may have slain the Christianity of a recluse; he has not even dared to attack the religion of a saint of the "church militant.”
H. R. L.
Our House. By Henry Seidel Canby. (Macmillan, New York: 1919.)
The problem raised in Professor Canby's book does not, perhaps, present itself to every uneducated young American. But there is something radically wrong with the college whose influence does not cause the problem to spring up in the mind of its students some time before they graduate. The problem can perhaps be very crudely stated in the three words: "Money or career?" Shall a man pursue wealth, or shall he seek the career
of artist, teacher, astronomer, writer, preacher? There can be no answer ex cathedra for universal application. But for any given individual there must be a right or a wrong choice. We think the reader's one regret at finishing Professor Canby's book is that Robert Roberts does not make the unequivocal decision for himself. He chooses the career, but at the moment of so doing he marries a rich widow. Now money and career very often go hand in hand. All good men are not poor, but that does not mean that very often there is not an issue raised between a career of service and making a "pile." However, Professor Canby has in very clear terms raised the issue, and in so doing he has done a timely service to the entire reading public.
But, after all, "Our House" is not an essay; it is a story, a very good story. Presumably this is Professor Canby's first novel, and in it he reveals a distinct grasp of the novelist's art. From the drug store in lower Manhattan to the Italian real estate purchaser or the New England house party, the book is full of life as life most distinctly is. Johnny Balt, the dilletante, who has something a great deal more than his dilletantism, is a gentleman most of us discover in our class about Junior year. Robert Roberts is not so surely drawn. Perhaps, after all, he is oneself, of which one is never quite sure.
Finally, to every Yale man this book as a very poignant personal appeal. The author has for many years been a teacher in Sheff., and he has put us—or at least our cousins-into a book. The book will show you what manner of man you appear to be to a very sympathetic observer and a very good writer.
H. R. L.
The Problem of the Pacific. By C. Brunsdon Fletcher, with a preface by Sir William MacGregor, with a map. (Henry Holt & Company, New York.)
The significant phrase on the title page of this book is "with a map." It is the detailed exposition of this map (constructed on the globular projection) which gives Mr. Fletcher's book a place in the study of the problems of the Pacific. The chapter "Half the World" begins to open one's eyes to expanses, like the rising aeroplane. For instance, as Pacific distances go, Canada and China are neighbors.
But while on the one hand Mr. Fletcher is emphasizing the ocean reaches, he takes his own departures pretty much from one corner of the ocean, the Australasian. The reader will not object to this, because the author is so well informed on the relation of all international subjects to this corner, and because, of late, one has heard less of this roomy corner of the world than it deserves.
We can dispose of with Mr. Fletcher's remarks on China, Japan, the United States and South America, by saying that in most cases he takes very widely accepted views. He quotes, perhaps, too regularly from the London Times. One item is, however, rather unique; it is the story of Tagore's visit to Japan. Japan welcomed Tagore as the bard who would sing her praises. Here is what he wrote:
"My master has bid me while I stand at the roadside, to sing song of Defeat, for that is the bride whom he woos in secret. "She is forsaken of the day, and God's night is waiting for her with its lamps lighted and flowers wet with dew.”
Tagore saw three generations in Japan: 1. Old Japan, which had accepted the new order in self-defense; 2. The Middle generations, brought up on religion of admiration for Germany; 3. Young Japan, in which is hope.
But of what we may expect from Japan as the dominating factor in the Pacific for the next generation, Mr. Fletcher has nothing very convincing to say.
The central theme of the book is Australasia. The resentment which British colonials bore to the welt-politik which was inaugurated in the first decade of the century with Dr. Solf as its nominal head in Berlin is seldom realized here. The fact is that Germany, even as early as the coronation of 1911, was seen to be struggling to supplant the British flag in the trade and protectorate of the Pacific isles. Mr. Fletcher's summary of the history of Fiji is illuminating. With Germany ousted, Mr. Fletcher seems to think that British control, which has been chiefly effectual in the past, will continue to keep the peace on the Pacific. He sees no possible antagonism with either Japan or th United States, although he is rather shy of Japan's possession of the Marshall group.
It was scarcely necessary for Mr. Fletcher to point out the general justice and wisdom of British colonial policy in the last century. But it is interesting to note that he scores Gladstone and others on the count of not extending the blessings of British rule further and more resolutely. He thinks it was largely weakness which lost Oregan and Samoa.
The closing chapters on Australia, to the uninitiated in the history of the under-side of the world, are full of startling revelations. For instance, the theory that Indian labor in the wilderness of Australia could restore the broken treasury of the Empire will be new to some. And the conclusions to be drawn from Australia's experience with radical labor and socialism are apt to be lost sight of in this heyday of bolshevism.
This is not, as advertised, a book for the political thinker, nor yet for the business man. But it is a book much to be commended to the man who, as far as the problems of the Pacific is concerned, can be only a "general reader."
H. R. L.
China and the World-War. By W. Reginald Wheeler, of the faculty of Hangchow College, Hangchow, China. (Macmillan, New York: 1919. Price $1.00.)
Mr. Fletcher undertakes to write on "The Problem of the Pacific" and because of his diffuseness is not convincing. Mr. Wheeler undertakes to summarize the important facts relative to one series of events in the developmnt of the Pacific and has produced a book of genuine value. The evidence which Mr. Wheeler presents is carefully selected with regard to points of view and weight of authority and is presented with an impartiality which is all the more commendable because the subject under discussion is one which inevitably makes the student of it personally partisan.
The great power of the Pacific to-day is Japan, but the ultimate subject of controversy is that half of the world is China. And just as the history of the making of the constitution of the United States is an epitome of our early national history, so the story of the fight for the republic in China is a record of the interplay of national forces in the Pacific Basin. The most complete history of this gigantic struggle (up to the year 1917) is contained in Putnam Weale's "Fight for the Republic in
China" (Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1919). This is for the student. Mr. Wheeler's book summarizes the English journalist-historian's account and carries the discussion up to the beginning of the Peace Conference. Mr. Wheeler's book may be read in two hours, and, we repeat, is admirably adapted to the purposes of the man who would inform himself quickly.
With regard to the future of China Mr. Wheeler is optimistic. He quotes as follows: "The Chinese as a people are temperamentally suited to representative government; they are reasonable, tactful, conciliatory and humorous, four saving graces which will carry them far along the road to political success." And in his closing chapter carefully discussing China's situation in relation to President Wilson's idea of world peace, the author recognizes limitless possibilities of international friction, recognizes that a generation will scarcely suffice to establish the Chinese republic, but believes that if the "cause of the Allies is permanently successful" China will come to her own.
Mr. Wheeler's chapter on the Lansing-Ishii agreement is excellent. In naïve fashion he shows how Mr. Lansing failed to define the term "special interests," and how, therefore, Baron Ishii triumphed diplomatically. Japan announces she will defend the integrity of China, and Mr. Millard points out that "if Japan will defend China against Japanese aggression all will be well."
The appendices of this small volume are exceedingly well worth while, especially the bibliography, which is the author's "five-foot shelf of books on China."
Mr. Wheeler is a Yale graduate of 1909.
H. R. L.
The Arrow of Gold. By Joseph Conrad. (Doubleday, Page & Company, New York: 1919.)
"It was enough, when you thought it over, to give you the idea of an immense, potent, and invisible hand thrust into the ant-heap of the earth, laying hold of shoulders,knocking heads together, and setting the unconscious faces of the multitude towards inconceivable goals and in undreamt-of directions." When Mr. Conrad wrote these words a score of years ago he hardly intended a criticism of his own work, but in them he points to what indeed seems the great fault of "The Arrow of Gold." And we suspect that the immense, potent, and invisible