« PreviousContinue »
Executive in a hundred towns and cities, at a “I hope there are but few of our fellow-citizens time of partisan quiet, will bring home to the who, in their retrospects, do not now acknowpeople the strength and the glory of the Re- ledge the good that has come to our nation
through this episode in our history. It has espublic—a strength and glory that are more
tablished the Monroe Doctrine on lasting foundathan imperial, for they touch and lift the
tions before the eyes of the world ; it has given manhood of all our active millions.
us a better place in the respect and consideration Fresh from his western journey the Presi
of the people of all nations, and especially of dent will be in a happy mood to receive the
Great Britain ; it has again confirmed our confihonors that our most important academic dence in the overwhelming prevalence among our community will pay him, and he will return citizens of disinterested devotion to American invigorated and mellowed by the most in honor.” structive experience that man could get from
Another historical review of a disputed two months' travel. If every citizen of the matter—this by a group of disinterested instiUnited States could take this same journey, gators—touches the beginning of hostilities in there would be none left to despair of the Philippines on February 4, 1899. The republican institutions. The Old World Philippine Information Society of Boston has dyspepsia of pessimism is always lost in published a pamphlet setting forth all the Texas or in California or in Oregon or in the evidence bearing on the beginning of the war. Yellowstone Park or on the Great Lakes, The conclusion reached by the editors is that where there is health for all the ills of the the attack was made on our soldiers by the sedentary mind
Filipinos on territory admitted by the Filipino
leaders to be in the jurisdiction of the United STILL AN ASYLUM FOR DEFEATED POLITICIANS States. The attack was probably not ordered F President McKinley rises to some oc
on that particular day (or night) but there is
proof that it was contemplated by the leaders pointments to responsible positions in our at an early time, the editors of the pamphlet island-government, for instance, have been declare. There is no evidence that our forces admirable. But his appointment of Mr. instigated the attack to secure votes to ratify Rodenberg, of Illinois, a member of the last the treaty of peace which was then pending Congress who is now out of a job, as one of
in the Senate. the National Civil Service Commissioners is a The public opinion of the country had long discreditable performance. Mr. Rodenberg ago accepted these conclusions both about while in Congress voted to “starve out " the
the Venezuelan episode and the Filipino war. Commission. To administer a law by the
THE UPWARD MOVEMENT OF FARM LABORERS hand of its enemy is not even a decent treatment of the law. Peculiarly unfortunate was
"HE new census figures of farm tenantry this appointment because it is an act of con
indicate several interesting tendencies. tempt to the purity of the classified service. The total number of farms has increased in It strikes at the very root of the merit
the decade from 4,500,000 to 5,700,000, or system.
twenty-six and two-thirds per cent. The in
crease in the number of farms, therefore has TWO INTERESTING INCIDENTS REVIEWED
more than kept pace with the increase of popuTHE rush of events does not abate the lation; and the great farm is not swallowing
popular interest in the historical study of up the small one. The number of farms our recent history. Mr. Cleveland took occa worked by their owners is 500,000 more than sion in a lecture at Princeton University late it was ten years ago. in March to review the “Venezuela incident” Yet the number of farms worked by tenants of his last administration. Mr. Olney, it will
has increased still more rapidly. Tenantbe recalled, was Secretary of State, and the farms increased more than forty per cent. vigorous, almost threatening, tone of our Gov- during the decade, whereas the number of ernment toward the Government of Great those worked by their owners increased less Britain regarding the boundary dispute with than eighteen per cent.; and both have inVenezuela, caused a shock to the ultra- creased faster than the farming population. conservative. Looking back to it, after these But an analysis of the statistics shows that years of reflection, Mr. Cleveland earnestly the increase in the number of tenant-farmers said :
does not prove the degradation of the farm democratic, peculiarly American institution. laborer. It proves rather his rise in fortune. It is as different from the library that is a The greatest increase in tenant farms has been reference-house for scholars as the House of in the Eastern and Middle Western States Lords is different from a town meeting, with where the owners have been able to move to a difference that is even more significant. towns and villages; and the men who former- The very word “library” has come to have a ly where farm-laborers are now becoming new meaning in the United States. For centenants. Thus there is a movement upward turies it has meant an institution for the colof every class toward the class above it-a lection and for the preservation of books for movement that shows, not a fixity of classes the use of the learned. Of libraries, in this but a general economic improvement.
sense, we have nothing to compare with the
great libraries of Europe. MR. CARNEGIE'S FAR-REACHING PLAN
But while the great collections of the R. ANDREW CARNEGIE has already Old World are of priceless value—are worth
and his giving is yet, he says, only fairly library as it is developed in the United States begun. On the day after he sailed from New is a wholly different thing. It is an aid to York in March it was announced that he had popular education, hardly secondary in its given $4,000,000 as a pension fund for men complete development to the public school who have served in his mills, an additional itself. From this point of view it is not by $1,000,000 to Carnegie Institute at Pittsburg, its size nor by its value as a repository of rare $1,000,000 for a library in St. Louis, and editions that it serves the world, but by the $5,200,000 to erect sixty-five free branch extent to which it permeates the whole comlibrary buildings in connection with the New munity, by the ease with which its books find York Public Library, on the condition that their
home. It is with libraries the city provide sites for them and maintain of this kind that Mr. Carnegie is dotting the them. These great gifts bring the total of map, and the development of this kind of a Mr. Carnegie's public benefactions to more library is so recent that the far-reaching wisthan $25,000,000, and they have nearly all dom of his benefactions is not yet apparent. been made on condition that they be supple He has already given free-library buildings mented by the communities which have re to towns and cities in thirty-two states, in three ceived them. The sum of money, therefore, territories and in the District of Columbia, , that he has spent and caused to be spent, in besides his similar gifts in Canada and the public education in its broadest sense and United Kingdom. Of our population of chiefly for libraries and technical schools, 72,000,000, about
72,000,000, about 10,000,000 may enjoy must be nearly or quite $50,000,000.
library facilities from benefactions that he has The results of these gifts will become already made—or nearly one person in seven. greater as time goes on, and they will become so great that it is difficult now to measure
DEMOCRACY AS A SOLVENT OF GREAT them. The free library is just beginning to
АНЕ community, and the part that it can public education is just being discovered. It
It value of his example. He follows and outdoes a very much greater and more direct strips a long line of American men of great service than it did even ten years ago.
A fortune who have given their riches for the free circulating library is not only a place public good, each in his own way—Peabody, where anybody may consult a book, but it is an Cooper, Slater—the list would 'fill half the institution that will deliver a book almost at pages of this magazine. A rich man in Engeverybody's home. It has become one of the
It has become one of the land, as Mr. Frederic Harrison said the other principal tools of the teacher; it is a guide day, is ennobled, and then he must buy a to current discussions, not less than to classic great country-seat and found a family. In literature; and it is a practical help to the the United States he may both buy a countryartisan in his craft. The full measure of its seat and found a family, but he is seldom enutility has yet been by no means developed. nobled in American opinion unless he use his
The free circulating library is a modern, wealth for the public good.
ponymtom parthen the life at the American THE calues of Mar Carnegie se public bene
regarded. In spite of the waste and the A STUDY of individual wealth, as the
It is easy to breed alarm in the mind when yourself by your impertinence. The best we think of the irresponsible waste of wealth way
to manage” him is to let him once get in every great city almost within earshot of a taste of the joy of giving and then to leave starving women and children ; and when we him alone. An old gentlemen, to whom a forsee the huge brute strength of money in some tune came late in life a few years ago, gave of its unsocial uses, it is easy to feel a fear $100,000 to an institution whose work pleased for our political institutions and for our theory him. “I have got so much more pleasure,” of simple living. It is easy, too, to feel at he said, a year later, “from the $100,000 that least a distant fear of peril to our civilization I gave away than from all I have left, that I when we see the increasing concentration of am going to give the rest of it." financial power. But, when the richest man Any man who will take the trouble to in the world, who is also one of the most ascertain the enormous sum that is every year democratic men in the world, retires from given for public purposes by the rich men in active life to “make his soul” and cheerfully the United States, and who will compare this proceeds to give away his fortune while he sum with the public benefactions of any prelives—this is an offset to theoretical fears ceding time and of any other country, will strong enough to refashion even a pessimistic have brought home to him a result of philosophy. Mr. Carnegie's example is mak democracy that is one of the most remarkable ing the accumulation of great wealth for one's facts in all human history own spending or for one's own children almost a contemptible thing. A man that is rich
A SHORT STUDY OF RICHES unto himself is an unsocial man, and he is so
number of colossal fortunes increases, abuse of riches and the demoralization caused yields many curious and interesting conby display, the general principle seems yet to clusions, according to the student's temperahold good that a democracy is a solvent of ment and the range of his wisdom. great fortunes.
The most discouraging fact that he meets But there is an amusing aspect also of the is the power of misused money in politics. general discussion of the uses of wealth that Here is a problem for the very stoutest pracMr. Carnegie is provoking. How many men tical reformer. there are who could more wisely give away a Another hard task is to devise any method fortune than by building libraries and technical whereby the rich may directly help the poor schools, and how many seriously inform Mr. without undermining character and self-reCarnegie of their ability to do better than he liance. All helpful philanthropy is attacking can do with his own fortune! A less this problem, and we are learning wisdom by philosophical and less merry man than Mr. experience. But to help the helpless is not Carnegie might well be discouraged by so the easy undertaking that it was for ages much impertinent advice. But he is as reso thought to be. Preventive philanthropy is lute and as good-humored as he is rich (three the only ultimate or scientific form of help. qualities that have much to do with each Another interesting fact that one encounother), and he smiles and gives—as he pleases. ters is that strong men care less and less for The joy that he gets from his benefactions is wealth. Most strong men of this generation not the least noteworthy evidence of his in our country have accumulated enough healthful character.
wealth no longer to be impressed by it, and That there is a class of persons who make they do not think enough about either its it their business to advise rich men how to power or its dangers. It becomes a spend their fortunes is itself an evidence of counter in the game that they play for power the generosity of the rich. But if you feel or for sport, and oftenest of all from sheer that you are “ called” to “manage” a mil habit. Having once begun the game they lionaire, it is well first to remember that he is suffer ennui if they stop. It is here that our a stronger personality than you are, else he highest educational problem is—to train strong would not be the millionaire and
would men to “cultivate their souls ” without losing not be the adviser; in the second place, that their vigor. Benevolence is a common quality, he knows that he is a stronger personality but a true culture is rare among the strong than you are, for you have made a measure of men of the United States.
And the truly cultivated man, the strong the literature of good conduct was either so man who has both benevolence and the higher excellent or so widely diffused. The broad resources of mind and character—such a man abyss between the Christian church and “the soon discovers that it is no longer necessary world” is being bridged, and increased strength to be rich. The city is his landscape gardener, and efficiency to both is the result. Meanhis librarian, the keeper of his gallery of while the stronger religious papers emancipate paintings, the provider of his museum, themselves from sectarianism and attain a nearly all the things that rich men once spent general interest, while the weaker decline fortunes for are his without cost. To such a into the news-papers of church organizations, man the accumulation of great wealth for his reporting conventions, dedications, and the like. personal enjoyment is a sheer waste of energy.
THE SPANISH LOSS OF TRADE BY THE WAR A right and well-balanced philosophy will
loss activity, and we shall see a sound culture give balance to our stronger personalities as it now
exports to Cuba have fallen from $136,000,000 sweetens chiefly those that are less strong.
to $66,000,000 a year; to Porto Rico from
$44,000,000 to $13,000,000; to the PhilipTHE DECLINE OF THE RELIGIOUS PRESS.
pines from $49,000,000 to $27,000,000. The NOMMENT has been provoked about the
results are almost disastrous to Spanish indecline in influence and in circulation
dustry. There is an annual loss of trade of the religious press in the United States representing a sum larger than the whole during the last decade or two-a decline that
direct cost of the war, including the value of
the feet. has shown itself in two ways. Such of the journals of the several Protestant sects as have
This trade, after the Spanish fashion, was, not suffered a positive falling off have failed to
in a large degree, forced. The colonies were grow in proportion to the growth of popula- A good share of it was, therefore, in the
not permitted to trade where they pleased. tion, and several important journals that were
nature of a tax on the colonies—wherein there once distinctly religious have become secular.
is a lesson for us. Most of them indeed have become more secular than they once were. The change is
THE PAN-AMERICAN EXPOSITION
HE Exposition shows any important facts except the liberalization of religious thought and a great object-lesson in American progress since the advance in the development of periodical World's Fair at Chicago, and especial attenliterature in general. The secular journals tion will of course be paid to an adequate now report and interpret more religious news representation of the opportunities afforded than the church papers did in the time of by the Central and South American States their greatest influence. On the other hand, as markets for our wares. there is a strong and necessary tendency in The very rapid extension of American the conduct of the church papers to make commerce and the corresponding growth of and to keep them organs of their particular manufactures give a chance for an exposition sects. This is a necessary and useful service, that will be of very great educational valuebut the general liberalization of thought has a chance that the management of the Fair made it impossible for a journal that is the have from the beginning understood and inorgan of anything, religious or secular, to telligently worked for. exert a strong or general influence. The Such a showing of American progress falls decline of strictly religious journalism, as far directly in line with the work of this magazine. as it has declined, measures the advance of The magazine, therefore, will naturally give reverent secular journalism in its treatment of one number to an accurate description and religious subjects.
interpretation of the Fair. The illustrations Such decline as has taken place may easily will be from photographs taken during the be exaggerated, and easily misinterpreted. first month of the Exposition, exclusively for There has been a falling away of popular in use in THE WORLD'S WORK. The aim will terest in ecclesiastical doctrines, but there be to make it, both in its artistic and in its surely was never a time in our history when interpretative work, worthy of the subject.
THE MAKING OF PLAYS FROM NOVELS sharpened the commercial wits of the novelT one time last winter six plays made ists. The old-fashioned publisher's contract
from popular novels were on the stage with an author stipulated that “any compenin New York, and the theatrical managers sation received from dramatization shall be had contracts for four times as many more. equally divided between the author and the Since “Trilby" and "The Prisoner of Zenda” publisher.” Such a contract was in fashion were profitably dramatized, most popular in those simple days when novels were novels have been staged, many with pecuniary never dramatized and before novelists became success, but very few with artistic success. shrewder bargainers than publishers. “Why,”
The making of plays out of books has a novelist lately asked his publisher, “should become a profitable industry; for it is an you have a share in the dramatic rights of my industry rather than an art. A shrewd old story — why more than in my income from man who has read all the best novels and lectures or from my practice of the law ?” seen all the best plays for fifty years asked Since by far the larger part of life is industhe other day, when somebody spoke to him try and not art, the making of novels from in praise of a new story, “Is it to be put on which plays may be made and the making the stage?"
of plays from successful novels will go on “ Yes."
as legitimate trades, till another fashion come. "Well, then, it's a poor novel. I'll read But neither art will get the highest satisfacThackeray again, I thank you."
tion from the combination; and neither the “Yes, but didn't you know that Becky best novelists nor the best playwrights take Sharp had a long run on the stage?”
more than a pecuniary interest in it. “Well — but — things change when things Consider the difference between this fashion change, don't they?”
of ours — the sheer manufacture of plays out But there is a radical difference between of popular tales — and the fashion whereby the art of the novelist and the art of the play the stage in Paris, in Berlin, and in Copenwright. A few stories lend themselves to hagen is supplied with plays, where Rostand, successful treatment by both arts; but such Sudermann and Hauptmann and Ibsen are stories are not likely to make either the best at work. The comparison is not comforting novels or the best plays. The explanation nor hopeful. But if we have not yet got far of the fashion of making plays from books is enough away from the “amusement ” connot the artistic fitness of the material, but the ception of the stage to couple it closely in commercial shrewdness of managers. To the our thought with art, it is fair to remember purely financial mind a play consists of two that the plays manufactured out of novels things — the play itself and the publicity that are, as a rule, a great improvement over the can be given to it. Any popular novel has plays that used to be adapted from the one of these elements. A versatile playwright French. We are getting in the habit of uscan be found who will make the other, more ing home material. We shall soon learn that or less badly.
the proper way to use home material on the So strong has the fashion become that one stage is not to take it out of successful novels, manager who wished to procure a play first but to take it directly from life.
We are had the play-carpenter write the story as a simply repeating the English experience of novel. It is the worst novel, as a piece of a former time. There was once an effort to literature, that ever was patched together; but put many of Dickens's stories on the stage, the theatrical manager by theatrical methods most of which failed, and of all men that ever contrived to sell it. Thus he has secured his wrote for a charmed world, Dickens himself advertisement. The play will now come for knew least about stagecraft. In this respect ward. Of course both book and play will last he was like practically all other good storyonly a season. We shall all be mildly amused, tellers. The proper methods of work are for and the manager and the author will profit by the novelist to stick to his novels, and the the slumber of our judgment. They prey on playwright to his plays, each getting his our easy-going good nature.
material wherever he can get it best, without Meantime the profit of the industry has reference to the other.