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A LIST OF INFANTS WANTED AND OFFERED. (A) “ Do you think you would be able to help me to find a very But, of course, as the man is a poor labourer there is no pretty fair-haired baby girl, about ten months to one and a-half money forthcoming for the settlement of his orphan. years old, that I could adopt and bring up as my own? I have (1) Another correspondent in Kensington writes, offera lovely house and grounds, and dearly love children, but I ing an illegitimate baby of two weeks old, whose father is have none of my own. I should require a baby healthy and
a soldier, and whose mother is a servant, who is obliged pretty, and the mother, if possible, of gentle birth. The child
to go to service. “Allow me to tell you," says my correwould be loved and petted, and have a beautiful home with
spondent," that it is a lovely child, perfect in health and me. Do you know of any one who could help me to such a child ?"
(J) A lady writes me from Huddersfield saying, “I know Such is one of the letters I have received this last
of a dear little girl, dark and good-looking, born on the month, but the precise infant that is wanted has not come
14th. The mother thought she was legally married in a along.
Registry Office; the husband has not been heard of for (B) Here is another letter from the other side, from a
months, and is not likely to be heard of. The mother mother, who writes :
will give up all claim to the infant, as she will have to I am anxious to find a good home for my little one, where support herself by going into service.” she would be well cared for and brought up as a child of the
These are some of the letters that I have received, family. My husband is abroad, and I am journeying shortly,
from which it is evident that the Baby Exchange so I consider the best thing I could do is to have my baby
will demand very careful handling. The worst of it adopted, as I cannot take her abroad. He is a dear mite of
is the babies do not fit. I do see exactly how any of those five months old. We are of good birth.
offering exactly meet the requirements of those who are (C) From the Isle of Wight I received an application willing to take them. I am willing, however, to let the as follows:
offers remain over until another month. I have marked As we have no children, we would like to adopt a baby from the letters in alphabetical order, so that they can be birth or only a few weeks old. We could give it a comfortable referred to by letter, and correspondents brought into home, and bring it up in every way as our own.
communication with each other. All those who wish to (D) A tradesman in a village in the West Riding communicate with me in regard to babies should statewrites :
(1) sex, (2) age, (3) the reason why it has to be disposed of. We have been married for seven years, and have had no One curious result of the proposed Baby Exchange is children. We should like to adopt a female child, healthy, that readers and subscribers appear to imagine that they and of good parentage, about two years of age, or under, have only to write to me to get anything they want. A preferably of rather a light complexion. We are not wealthy lady, for instance, in Worcester writes me to say that she at all, only common country tradespeople in a small way, and would like to have a little girl of gentle manners and would do our best to make the child comfortable and happy. good birth, from seven to nine years of age, whose parents (E) A lady writes from Kensington :-
would pay twenty guineas a year for boarding, educating, Can you do anything with a baby of a servant I have? The and clothing her. This, however, was but a small child is three months old, a fine healthy, fair child; the thing compared with the request that was made by a mother is very fond of it, and has it out at nurse, but for the bachelor, that I should find him a wife. He called at welfare of the child, I have persuaded her to have it adopted.. the office, and was in deadly earnest about it. He told
(F) A lady in Worcestershire, who has just turned fifty me that some time ago he met a lady, but that he could says that she absolutely longs for a dear little baby
not have anything to do with her, even if she had a face and voice among her flock. She prefers one over a
million of money, but at the same time, though he wants year old, but is quite willing to take one younger. Her
a wife, he must have a “ lass with a tocher.” I told him husband and friends always tell her that she is crazy
he had better submit his proposal in writing. Whereabout babies, but she is sure that she could love and upon in due course I received the following notification tend one as well as when she was a young woman, but as
of his requirements in the matrimonial market: circumstances render it impossible for her to take it free
CONFIDENTIAL. of all charge, if payment could be given, she could A bachelor between 40 and 50 years of age, of good appearance promise it a good home and true motherly love.
and address, well educated, desires to meet with a rich and (G) A man and his wife in Derby write to me saying
agreeable lady, also of good appearance, and about 30 years of that they have five boys, the eldest fifteen, the youngest
age, who might be willing to marry and help him to buy a good
junior partnership, where his sound business habits, long five, but no girl. They want a baby girl, but they cannot
experience and industry, might prove useful and remunerative. afford to take her without payment of some reasonable
He to settle what he has, say, shares, present value (and likely sum for her maintenance, as the father only earns twenty to continue and increase) capitalised at 5 per cent. £2,500, eight shillings per week. "We wish to adopt a girl of with Life Insurance £500, and about £500 invested; in all, our own, without any future claim upon it whatever, and say £3,500. Whatever sum over this might be required to be to receive a reasonable sum for the same.” In reply to secured by further Life Insurance. this letter, I stated that I did not wish to convert Baby No doubt a matrimonial bureau is one of the great Exchanging into Baby Farming.
needs of civilisation, but I should like to see the Baby (H) A Rector in Gloucester writes to know if I could get Exchange a little more successful before venturing upon any one to take a baby boy, whose mother died when he providing brides for would-be bridegrooms and bridewas a month old, and whose father is in very uncertain grooms for would-be brides. At the same time should work. The guardians will do nothing unless he will go any lady aspire to become the wife of this bachelor, into the house, and this he is unwilling to do, so the I shall be glad to forward any letters that may be baby remains on his hands until some one will adopt it. sent me.
A MILLION COPIES ISSUED. AM glad to be able to report that the success of “ The portrait of Shakespeare which bas been selected was Penny Poets" seems to be assured. With the issue painted by a Russian artist from a portrait in Ben of the ninth number, Campbell's “Pleasures of
Jonson's folio. The portraits in Number 2 are even better Hope, and Other Poems,” I have printed one million
executed than those in No. 1, and I hope that this attempt
to provide a portrait gallery of the poets will not have to copies, giving an average of more than 100,000 for every
be abandoned for lack of support. This album, with four portraits, and the bound volume containing the masterpieces of the four poets, whose portraits appear in the album, are issued together at a shilling. With such a shillingsworth it ought not to be difficult to dispose of the full edition of twenty-five thousand per month.
As the numbers of “ The Penny Poets” multiply there increases the difficulty of keeping them together. There is no necessity for binding them. They are handier to read unbound. But a place for them is essential, otherwise they will knock about the house and litter in the bookshelves, and ultimately get lost. I therefore repeat this month the notice published in the last number of the REVIEW, about the arrangeinents which I had made for the supply of Bookshelves and Corner Brackets for the safekeeping of the forty-eight. The prices are as follows:
Box I. Cardboard box covered with leatherette. Sizc 114 in. by 74 in. Price 6d., or post free, 9d.
Box II. Wood box covered with leatherette, with partiti a down the centre. Size 11} in. by 74 in. Price 1s. or post free, Is. 3d.
Box III. A corner bracket in plain wood. Size 13 in by issue. I gave last month the numbers of the copies 102 in. Price 2s. 6d., or post free, 3s. printed up to date. Since then we have published
Box IV. The same, with ornamental facings, hand-painted Mrs. Barrett Browning's “Lady Geraldine's Courtship and
Price 3s. 6d., or post free, ts.
Box V. Ornamental stand in japanned lacquer. Size 13 in. Selections." Thomas Campbell's “Pleasures of Hope and Other Poems."
by 15 in. Price, post free, 5s. Milton's “ Paradise Lost,” Part 1. Abridged.
Box VI. Large corner bracket (made to fit auy corner) in William Morris's “ Earthly Paradise.”
plain wood. Size 21 in. by 25 in. Price, post free. 7s. 6d.
Box VII. The same, enamelled, with ornamental facing: Mrs. Browning was the first of woman poets to be and hand-painted. Price, post free, 108. included in the series, and our selection is confined to such poems as are out of copyright. The first living
Nearly every day I hear from friends and subscribers,
that notwithstanding the extensive circulation of “The poet to appear in this series has been Mr. William Morris,
Penny Poets," they have not yet penetrated into regions who has been extremely kind in permitting me to use very copious extracts from his great poem, the “ Earthly Paradise,” which by this means I hope will be introduced to many who have hitherto never had an opportunity of enjoying Mr. Morris's poetry. In dealing with “ Paradise Lost” there was some difficulty. The poem itself was too long to be published cven in two parts. The work of abridgment was difficult, and naturally provokes hostile criticism, for the abridger must perforce lay profane hands upon a great English classic. The task, however, has been accomplished in a rough and practical fashion, and it is possible for those who have not the patience to read the long epic through, to familiarise themselves with the drift of Milton's argument and the greatest of all his passages. The contribution which Campbell made to our literature was so slight in quantity, although rare in quality, that there was no difficulty in printing the whole of his poetry which will live in a single number of the series. The second number of “Our Poets' Corner" has been
where they would be greatly appreciated. If any of my
friends or readers care to assist in this effort to disissued. It contains portraits of Burns, Longfellow, seminate high-class literature among the masses, and will Shakespeare, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The communicate with me, I shall be glad to send them
circulars and sample copies if they would undertake to introduce them to their friends in their respective neighbourhoods.
A good deal can be done in calling attention to this matter through the press. Mr. E. O. Catford, of the Adult School at Bunhill, wrotela cordial letter to One and An, the organ of the Adult School movement, which led to the publication of an editorial in that journal in support of this attempt to bring the masterpieces of English literature within the reach of the masses. The editor says:-
To them, practically, these treasures have been non-existent. Now every man can have a “ Poets' Corner" in his own house,
are showing their appreciation of this unique offer by closing with it gladly. Whittier and Tennyson ought to have a large sale among our schools, and should be secured at once, as we understand that the first edition of “Macaulay's Lays” (with portrait) cannot now be had for love or money.
I have received enthusiastic letters from British Columbia, where the educational authorities seem inclined to adopt the series for use in their schools.
An esteemed correspondent in Constantinople ordered four complete sets of The Penny Poets” to be forwarded to four English Schools in the Turkish capital. Every week I get letters from working men and others who express their gratitude and delight on being introduced to reading of which they had heard but never before had had at their own disposal. All this is very encouraging, and justifies my hope that if those who know of “ The Penny Poets” would help in bringing their existence before the public, we should have a weekly circulation of a quarter of a million instead of 100,000.
At the end of this month I shall publish the second part of “Childe Harold's Pilgrimage." I am rather curious as to the result of this experiment. I bring it out now, because the third and fourth cantos of Childe Harold describe the most popular of all European tours. Childe Harold goes from Belgium, up the Rhine, passes through Switzerland, and then makes the tour of Italy. No one who makes that tour should be without a pocket edition of the poem. It will be an increased pleasure to read on the spot the reflections which they suggested to one of the greatest of English poets. Next year I hope that Dr. Lunn may see his way to organise Childe Harold Tours, following the route of Lord Byron. “The Penny Poets" just met the need of the tourist who does not wish to lumber up his haversack or his portmanteau with bound volumes, but he would like to have “Childe Harold” in an edition which he could carry in his breast pocket without feeling the weight even when mountaineering.
Box III. and IV. Price, 2s. 6d. and 3s. 61. and hold familiar converse with the greatest minds by his own fireside. The education and pleasure of such a privilege who can measure? This alone, if we owed Mr. Stead no other debt, would put him in the rank of public benefactors. We may share this privilege by helping the circulation of the penny books. We cannot speak too highly of their value. School librarians are strongly advised to introduce them into their schools. Our Adult Schools ought to circulate one hundred thousand or more of them. Shall it be done? Bunhill and other schools have taken the subject up heartily, and the men
OUR CIRCULATING LIBRARY.
THE demand for the boxes of our Circulating Library
last month was not so great owing to the summer
season. Only eleven boxes were ordered, and have been despatched to the following destinations :
CUMBERLAND.-Harrington (two boxes).
ABROAD.-Hong Kong (four boxes). Four boxes have been ordered from Hong Kong quarterly by the editor of one of the local newspapers. He reports that there is no public library in the colony. At the City Hall they have a number of books which are useful for reference, but there is nothing more recent than thirty years ago. The club has a good library for its members, but at present there is no public lending library. Applications continue to come in for boxes in the Mediterranean ports, but I have not yet been able to establish any system for the interchange of the boxes.
Last month several of the book boxes returned after having been out for the first quarter. The boxes had not suffered any damage worth mentioning, and were in good condition. The state of the books, however,
varied very much in the different boxes. In some cases they had been rather roughly used, and were in a dirty condition. In these cases, of course, we have had to charge for damage. In other cases-notably, that of Long Sutton in Lincolnshire—the books had not only been very extensively read, but were returned in perfect condition. Centres in mining districts and villages in the neighbourhood of towns would probably find it worth their while to cover the books in paper covers. This will save a great deal of trouble in cleaning the books, and will also be a protection to them. On the whole, the books have been very well read, and will probably be more so in the winter months. I give here two typical lists, one from a small town in the mining district of the Midlands, and the other from a village in the Eastern counties. The numbers placed before the titles of the books show the number of times the volumes have been issued during the quarter ::
I. 9–Beyond the Dreams of Avarice. By Walter Besant.
The Privateersman. By Capt. Marryat. 7–Roland Yorke. By Mrs. Henry Wood.
6-History of Our Own Times. By Justin McCarthy,
The Raiders. By S. R. Crockett.
Eric. By Archdeacon Farrar.
Marcella. By Mrs. Humphry Ward.
Joshua Davidson. By Mrs. Lynn Lynton. 1- John MacGregor. By Edwin Hodder.
The Heavenly Twins. By Saralı Grand.
Chicago To-day. By W. T. Stead.
Boy's Own Paper Annual. 2-Shakespeare's Works.
Liberty. By John Stuart Mill.
Oliver Twist. By Charles Dickens.
Ants, Bees, and Wasps. By Sir John Lubbock.
Kenilworth. By Sir Walter Scott..
The Co-operative Movement. By Beatrice Potter.
Poultry for Prizes and Profit. Prof. Long.
The Marquis of Salisbury. H. D. H. Traill.
Advice to Young Men. By W. Cobbett. The second list, that from the agricultural village, is the more satisfactory of the two. Not only were the books more read, but the serious books seem to have been more popular than in the mining district. Fiction naturally headed the lists in all cases. The novels were borrowed twice as often as were the more solid books included in the boxes. The magazines seem to have been a very popular feature. They were borrowed less frequently than the novels, it is true, but a good deal more often than the rest of the works in the boxes, The most popular magazines seem to have been Harper's, The Girl's Own Paper, The English Illustrated, THE REVIEW OF REVIEWS, and the Strand. Contrary to expectation the Illustrated London News does not seem to have been much appreciated by the first batch of readers. One satisfactory feature in the lists which have been made up so far, is the remarkable popularity of historical works. In nearly every case the historical books stand high on the list. It is worth noting how very seldom the novels of Charles Dickens and Sir Walter Scott have been issued. Nor does poetry seem to have found favour in the eyes of our village readers. Considering all things, however, the use which has been made of the first set of book-boxes is very creditable to the members of the various centres.
I despatch boxes of books as soon as they are ordered. Owing to this the boxes of the same set do not return at the same time, which adds considerably to the difficulty of re-despatching them. In the future I will continue " to send out tho boxes as they are required, but will
arrange that at the end of the second quarter they shall be returned on the same day. This will probably make the second quarter of irregular length, but it is necessary to make this arrangement in order to facilitate the interchange of boxes.
Mr. Robertson, who has formed a centre at Buckhaven, writes me that in addition to the usual subscription to the library he charges an entrance fee of one shilling. In return for this shilling he allows members to borrow books from his own private library. By this arrangement he secures the advantages both of a permanent and a circulating library. It is an example which might be followed in other parts of the country. By a misprint one of our Lincolnshire branches was recently given as Tugham. It should have been Ingham.
Mr. A. S Steenberg, who is now in England studying our Free Library system, with a view of establishing something on similar lines in Denmark, has been much interested in examining the working of our circulating library. As most of the towns of Denmark are in reality little more than villages, he is of opinion that a similar system to the REVIEW OF REVIEWS CIRCULATING LIBRARY would probably be the best method of providing the Danish people with libraries. They are wofully deficient at present in this respect. I shall watch with interest any attempt which may be made to establish a circnlating library on our lines in the kingdom of Denmark.
11-Knight Errant. By Edna Lyall.
Two Years Ago. By Charles Kingsley. 10---It's Never Too Late to Mend. By c. Reade. 9- Marcella By Mrs. Humphry Ward. 8- The Story of Creation. By Edward Clodd. 7- The Raiders. By S. R. Crockett.
Wee Willie Winkie. By R. Kipling.
Short History of the English People. By T. R. Green.
Toilers of the Sea. By Victor Hugo, 5—The Humour of Italy.
The Heavenly Twins. By Sarah Grand.
Charles Kingsley, His Life and Letters. 4-Jacob Faithful. By Captain Marryat.
The Draytons and the Devenants. By Mrs. Charles. 3-Mrs. Browning's Poems.
Oliver Cromwell. By Frederic Harrison.
Early Days of Christianity. By Archdeacon Farrar. 2–Round the World in Eighty Days. By Jules Verne.
Nicholas Nickleby. By Charles Dickens.
How far Max Nordau's “ Conventional Lies of Our said that a general election is fatal, for the time Civilisation" (Heinemann, 17s. net) owes its immediate
being, to bookseller and publisher alike. Times success to the Nordau "boom" which followed the change, and for once, I hear, the trade in books has
appearance of “ Degeneration,” it is difficult to say. The revived rather than declined with the Dissolution. But present translation is from the seventh edition of the still, no doubt, the sudden upheaval is responsible for German work, and that its note is much the same as that the postponement of more than one volume of importance, of the later and more famous volume is suggested suffiand as a result, this short following list of what has been ciently by the title of its first chapter, "Mene, Tekel, selling best includes two or three titles that appeared last Upharsiu." Again, we find Dr. Nordau the uncompromonth :
mising critic. His statement of “tho lie of religion," "the
6s. Trilby. By George du Maurier.
lie of a monarchy and aristocracy," “ the political lie,” Celibates. By George Moore. Os.
"the economic lie,” “the matrimonial lio," and a whole Gerald Eversley's Friendship: a Study in Real Life. By series of “lies” under the comprehensive title of " miscelthe Rev. J. E. C. Welldon. 6s.
laneous," is as strenuous and fearless as the most The Story of Bessie Costrell. By Mrs. Humpliry Ward. 2s. sensation-loving reader could desire. He draws, in fact,
The Alps from End to End. By Sir William Martin an indictment, readable enough certainly, but generally Conway 21s. net.
wrong-headed, against most of the characteristic features Conventional Lies of Our Civilisation. By Max Nordau. of our civilisation. We have one writer in England 17s. net.
whom he sometimes reminds me of-the author of “ The “ Trilby” (Osgood, 6s.), it would seem, is achieving Quintessence of Ibsenism,” Mr. George Bernard Shaw. something of the success over here that it has already Among the other big books the box contains, I think made in America; while the appearance of Mr. George you will like best “ The Land of the Muskeg" (HeineMoore's “ Celibates” (Scott, 6s.) shows that the author of mann, 14s, net), not merely for its numerous illustrations,
Esther Waters” has at last captured the book-buying its excellent maps, and its interesting letterpress, but public. But I do not think that“ Celibates” will add at because of the author, a very good portrait of whom all to his reputation. It is made up of three separate appears as the frontispiece of the volume. Mr. H. Somers stories, of which the first, “ Mildred Lawson,” takes up Somerset is the son of Ladly Henry Somerset, who only three hundred of the odd five hundred pages the volume attained his majority this year, and we have in his “The contains. Studies of celibate character, of types averse Land of the Muskeg," which was published last month, from marriage, they show undoubted cleverness, but tog probably the best book of the kind that has ever been often the kind of cleverness that has not sufficient command written by so young a man. It is a book of travel and of its own qualities; and again and again Mr. Moore allows adventure in lands but rarely visited by the English his work to suffer from that old intrusive lack of hunter. Mr. Somerset formed the chief of a hunting reticence which more than anything else was responsible party which penetrated into Alberta and Athabasca, and for the comparative failure of his earlier works, and which, afterwards crossed the Rocky Mountains into British no doubt, he learned from his whilom master, the author of Columbia. As a record of travelling in regions as yet “Nana.” Nor has the book any of that large humanity unsophisticated by civilisation, where real genuine Indians of motive which, so much to its advantage, informed can be found, and where young adventurers can risk every chapter of “ Esther Waters," and redeemed its their lives in as many ways as human ingenuity can occasional faults. There Mr. Moore was sympathetic; devise, Mr. Somerset's book will commend itself, and it in “ Celibates” he returns to his old hard, dispassionate deserves a wide popularity. There are so few articulate habit of treatment--a habit which, whatever its artistic persons who have travelled through the Hudson Bay merits, has seldom characterised a great book, and never Company's territory, that when one comés along with a popular. “Gerald Eversley's Friendship” (Smith and such a natural talent for observation as Mr. Somerset, it Elder, 6s.), the next book of fiction on the list, is quite a would be anpardonable for him not to have given us, different pair of shces. It is a school story, and by the who stay at home, some of these pen and pencil pictures Headmaster of Harrow. Mr. Welldon was one of the of the unknown country through which he has passed. ventlemen, surely, who & year or two ago protested The “Muskeg," which gives its name to the book, is not, against the “real life" of the French author I have just as some imagine, a wild beast, but a fearsome natural mentioned. His “study of real "life,” at least, does product in the shape of a bog. not err on the side of undue realism. It is over To take the " solid subjects” first, I think that the loaded with matter, however,' especially towards the book of the most actual historical interest that I send end, and although readable, is not going to be a you is the volume, “ The Crimea in 1854, and 1894" school classic like “ Tom Brown's Schooldays; (Chapman, 16s.), in which General Sir Evelyn Wood has will it ever reach the popularity of those other school collected, with considerable amplification and revision, stories by a schoolmaster" Eric" and "St. Winifred's." and with the addition of many illustrations and maps, Both Mrs. Humphry Ward's “ The Story of Bessie the series of articles on the Crimea which he conCostrell” (Smith and Elder, 2s.), and Sir William Martin tributed last year to the Fortnightly Review. Then Conway's The Alps from End to End” (Constable, 21s. there is the third and final volume of Dr. Reginald net), appeared on the list last month. Their reappear Sharpe's “ London and the Kingdom (Longmans, ance goes to prove that the reading public is not as 10s. 6d.), a history derived mainly from the archives inconstant as we have been made to believe. It has in the custody of the Corporation at the Guildremained faithful to Mrs. Humphry Ward, and it has hall. It is an official history too. “ printed,” the titlenot yet tired of the seemingly endless literature of Alpine page tells us, “ by order
ion under the and other climbing.
direction of the Library