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view, has long been one of polite anarchy. There is an international etiquette, there are forms of courtesy, there are venerable customs, there are certain limited engagements under the seal of solemn conventions, and there are recognized principles of international ethics; but, none the less, juristically speaking, there exists a condition of anarchy.”
The difference between conditions three centuries ago and conditions now, he goes on to remark, is merely that then there were four or five hundred potentates claiming the right to make war as they chose, while today this “right” is confined to some fifty or sixty “Sovereign Powers.” This so-called “right” is in reality subversive of right, as Dr. Hill sees it, and his book is an argument for its abandonment. What is necessary, he holds, can be put into a single sentence, or rather, a phrase: “A mutual guarantee on the part of Sovereign States, that they will not resort to force against one another, so long as the resources of justice contained in these conventions have not been exhausted.” The volume contains much of history, especially of the history of the development of better international relations, but it is in the main philosophical. For the general reader, it is a bit abstract here and there, but on the whole it constitutes one of the more notable of recent contributions in the field of political science. Its timeliness is obvious.
A M1:xIcAN JOURNEY. By E. H. Blichfeldt. New York: Thomas
Y. Crowell Company. $2.00 net.
“Timely and well done,” is certainly to be the verdict of readers of Mr. E. H. Blichfeldt’s “A Mexican Journey.” “Barbarous Mexico” from the pages of a popular magazine challenges our attention; repeated newspaper reports of sectional revolts keep Mexico constantly before us; but the delightful recital of these travels through the realm of our southern neighbor gives us just the things we most desire to know of this most promising young republic. It is history, it is geography, it is a study of political conditions, if you please; but it is more than any one or than all of these together. “Come with me," says the author, “and I will show you things enjoyable to see, things that have been a source of unfailing pleasure to me myself.” It is the intimate quality which constitutes the great value of the book. Throughout the whole recital we feel the sympathetic attitude of the sincere student of human affairs. We see Mexican politics, Mexican natural resources, Mexican customs and traditions, all in relation to the Mexican home and family. It is thus that the writer accomplishes no small part of his aim, “to make us as fond of Mexico as I have long been,” and it is thus also that he has given us a volume of remarkable interest and worth. The format is handsome.
THE BooK or THE SERPENT. By Katharine Howard. Boston:
mildly sophisticated version of the creati'on fable. Away at the edge of the world, “He” is creating things, while the serpent propounds to the turtle and the grasshopper, who are “His" chief companions and sympathizers, the significance and destinies of the creations. There are more clever turns of phrase than there are new ideas but the general impression is delightfully suggestive. The little volume would be a pleasing gift book. It is bound in heavy gray cardboard and lettered in gilt.
THE BELOVED ADVENTURE. By John Hall Wheelock. Boston: Sher
man French & Company. $1.50 net. The table of contents is the best thing in the volume of poems written by John Hall Wheelock under the name of “The Beloved Adventure." “Cor Cordium,” “Moon Mist,” “The Forest of Dreams,” “The Mother” and other titles excite one’s interest. The verses themselves, with few exceptions, are disappointing. “The Epitaph,” beginning “Two lovers had I, Life and Death That followed me forever”
is quaint, and “April in New England” daintily personifies expectant Spring. One or two lines in “A Love Song” distinctly recall Elizabeth Browning’s “Portuguese Sonnets.” Aside from these bits, the
book is a dreary waste of incongruous platitude, maudlin self pity and melodramatic effort to manufacture sentiment of which the authorhas little or no conception. Occasionally an anti-climax of magnitude enlivens the way and cheers the gloom: as where in “First Rapture” the poet starts off
“O lay your arms about me or I die;
The dizzy heaven of stars around us reels.”
The intense abandon of these lines makes one catch his breath; but the nervous tension is broken by the next two lines which inform us in a matter of fact way that
"Far off the screech owl gives a tremendous cry
There is no definite information as to the exact nature of the “sad perfume,” but the screcch owl marks the scene as sylvan, and while there is room for honest difference of opinion regarding the classification, the wild black-and-white pussy would seem to be a probable source of the peculiar odor.
The verses are without exception love poems, even those dedicated to the sea; but it is a tawdry, very melancholy love entirely lacking the note of clear, triumphant, holy joy that real love always has in its saddest moments.
DoEs PRAYER AVAIL? By William Kinsley. Boston: Sherman, French & Company. $1.00 net.
The author of this book feels that the tendency of modern scientific thought is to refer all the phenomena and producing forces of nature to the working of inexorable law. His contention is that this position makes prayer unscientific, since it therefore becomes the request of a “little creature,” of brief existence dwelling upon an “obscure satellite,” asking. for a change of an established order for infinitesimal interests. Mr. Kinsley attempts to prove that the Scripture view of prayer is not at variance with the latest investigations into physics and metaphysics. He claims that God does constantly interfere for us. Toward the close of his argument he reiterates this in most emphatic language saying that there is a mass of “incontestable evidences” that God will make direct interference
'for the humblest and most obscure, if they will ask for it, in “the
right spirit.” Mr, Kinsley has undertaken a heavy task; as to whether he has succeeded in absolutely proving his case would receive different answers from different readers. He shows nothing of the heated partisan; but calmly reasons, rising quite often from the sphere of mere abstraction to eloquence. The book is therefore easy to read. One of the values of the work aside from its religious motive and spirit is that it is an excellent résumé of well established results of investigations in the realm of matter, and also of many interesting findings in the sphere of the psychical.
WHEN A COBBLER RULED THE KING. By Augusta H. Seaman. New
in its ability to give pictures of life and action which the more serious historical study does not attempt. In this tale of the bitter experiences of the royal family during the last years of Louis XVI’s reign, of the turbulence of the Revolution, and of the long imprisonment of the pitiful little Dauphin who, upon his father’s decapitation, became Louis XVII, Mrs. Seaman has excited the imagination to a wide vision of the stress and turmoil of those days of strife.
THE PRISONERS or THE TEMPLE. By H. A. Guerber. New York: D. C. Heath & Company. 25 cents.
A practical teacher of French has prepared this little story of “The Prisoners of the Temple” as a text-book for translation from English into French. To that end he has appended judicious notes and a vocabulary. The tale itself, however, needs no notes, for it is written in a pleasant sympathetic style which is unexpectedly winning. Readers of “When a Cobbler Ruled the King" will like this narrative of the same events.