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The Minneapolis journal. [volume] (Minneapolis, Minn.) 1888-1939, May 13, 1906, Part II, Editorial Section, Image 16

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045366/1906-05-13/ed-1/seq-16/

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imately, what commercial results might be expected
to follow the opening of the Panama canal.
Few people not interested in the subject carry in
their mind a correct picture of the geographical rela
tion between the principal cities of North and South
America. If Lima, Quito, Valparaiso, Santiago, or
any other city of western South America be spoken
of, the popular conception is that it lies west, yet
these cities are almost due south from New York.
The west coast of South Amerioa is almost on a line
with the Atlantic seaboard.
With this in mind it will at once be seen that with
the Panama canal open, there will be great oppor
tunity for trade development. Ships that ply up and
down the South American w^st coast, and others that
take on cargo there and make the long voyage around
Cape Horn, may then come almost due north, by a
much shorter route, cross the isthmus and run direct
to New Orleans, New York, Boston or other ports.
There can be little doubt that the opening of the
Panama canal will mark one of the great events of
the world in its influence upon the trend of com
merce and the forming of trade routes. It will out
rank, in world importance, the opening of the Suez
canal, and in its effects upon the commerce of the
century following its inauguration, will show results
that will class it in importance with Columbus' dis
covery of America, and the rounding of Africa by
Vasco de Gama, the first navigator to open an all
water route from western Europe to India.
Congressman Longworth is asking the people of
Cincinnati to forget that it was Boss Cox who intro
duced him to congress and to permit him to return
on his own account. There seems now more than
an even chance that his wife will be sent back by
Cabinet Salaries.'
Daily and Sunday, per month 40
Daily only, per month 25
Sunday only, per month x......... .13
Daily and Sunday, one month...., 50
Daily and Sunday, one month 45
COPIES.1 toPOSTAGE IS pages cent
Fp to 36 pages 2 cents
Up to 54 pages 3 cents
New Trade Routes.
RADE relationship between the Yankees of the
north and the Yankees of the south is covered
in a report to the department of commerce by John
Hicks, the distinguished Wisconsin journalist, former
minister to Peru, and now accredited to Chile. Mr.
Hicks has found only what was already pretty gen
erally known, but influences bearing upon the situation
not heretofore so clearly brought out, are touched
upon, and it is made more apparent why Europe
enjoys so great a share of the trade of these South
American countries, while the United States gets
relatively little.
The fact is that there is a social, political and
religious relationship between these countries and the
countries of Europe, from which came the forebears
of the people of the upper classes, that it makes it
extremely difficult for our country to break in. Lack
of easy communication and neglect of trade oppor
tunity on our part are other important considerations.
The report of Mr. Hicks is timely. Charles M.
Pepper, the traveler and authority on Pan-American
affairs, has just published a book entitled "Panama
to Patagonia," in which many matters of interest
concerning the trade possibilities of the west coast
of South America are taken up. Mr. Pepper made
his investigations with a view to ascertaining, approx-
BONAPARTE in his argument for
higher salaries for cabinet officers puts the
matter too much on tho ground of a comparison be
tween government employment and the hiring of first
class men by the trusts. The trusts can offer a man
no distinction among his fellows while the govern
ment, especially when it raises a citizen to the grade
of adviser to the president, can and does confer on
him a distinction which money could not buy.
If the matter were made entirely one of wages it
is unlikely the government could compete with the
trusts, however high it bid. But it is entitled to
have considered in the contract the advantage which
it gives and which is its alone to give. Elihu Root
for example is said to have made a large fortune in
the year he was absent from the cabinet, but he came
back into it because the office of secretary of state
had attractions for him which mere money grubbing,
tho successful, could not offset.
The government, of course, ought to pay its cabinet
officers salaries which would enable them to maintain
establishments in Washington. That $8,000 a year
will not do it is quite evident. It was barely adequate
when the salaries were fixed and the scale of living
has risen since then. The principal secretaries in
the British cabinet draw three times the salary of
the American cabinet minister. Great Britain is not
able to pay its cabinet any more than America is.
The need of a readjustment of salaries in Washington
government pays for a great
is not performed Cabine ministers themselves say
chat if they had the control of their departments
they could do the same work with 20 per cent less
help. If the cabinet and congress are in earnest in
their demand for higher salaries they might, as men
in private employment do, demonstrate their claim
to advance by savings in their departments which
would justify an increase.
An eastern college professor says that men should
do all the cooking. The world has had enough of
pies like mother used to make and what it yearns
for is sausage like father used to fry and ice cream
like daddy turned the wringer for.
A Famous Case Ended.
MINNEAPOLIS jury has found Hamlet guilty
of the murder of 'Polonius, with extenuating
circumstances in the kind of whiskers affected by
the assistant to the state and the fact that Polo
nius had the Napoleonic habit of listening behind
closed doors.
Every jury which has heard this much-tried case
has disagreed, or nearly every one, there being
eleven men who held that so bad an actor as Polo
nious deserved his fate and a single man who held
out for a verdict of guilty on the theory that had
Hamlet followed the American leads he would have
killed the King instead of the Jack. He fooled his
partner by leading low from a major sequence.
This case has clogged the courts for centuries. It
has been tried oftener and with little more result
than the famous case of Jarndyco vs. Jarndyce re
ported in 34th Dickens, page 279.
With these two indictments out of the way it
may be possible- during the twentietn century to get
to the Patterson assault case,, which has been hang
ing fire for five decades because of the absence of
the defendant. Sherlock Holmes has agreed to pro
duce him in court whenever the state is ready to go
to trial.
V^t? According to Consul Ryder's report the president
of Nicaragua has recently given a most remarkable
concession for ten years at $160 a year. The con
cssslonairo is granted the right to station an agent
ia ths custom house and tax exports of rubber 10 cents
]|j* a pound over and above tho government tax of 5 cents.
Ths itiansuction appears a peculiar one. We could
cndvrstwid it, howevor, if we knew at what figure the
president of Nicaragua "commuted" his interest in
ths soncesaion.
Editorial Section.
HifJ wif
An English Satire. v*:
HE labor movement in England has"made such
marked progress in the past few years that it
believes to be thet principal business of a good
union man.
The satire is biting and has enough of a basis of
truth to give it spice. The labor movement in Eng
laad has not lost anything by excessive modesty. Nor
did the aristocracy while it held power make itself
common by concessions.
prac ti
Cassie Chadwick is said to be pining under prison
life. The lady should have taken that into consider
ation years ago. The state does not advertise its
institutions as summer resorts.
Business Manners..
HE importance of manners in business has begun
to be recognized by American business men,
but that the habit of polite deference to customers
has penetrated to all classes of employees cannot
yet be asserted with truth. Brusquerie is still quite
as apt to characterize the American retail clerk as a
desire to please. The division of mercantile estab
lishments into departments with a superintendent
over each who is watchfully solicitous of the record
of his branch of the business has had a tendency to
weed out many incompetent and uncouth subordinates,
but not all. There are occasionally to be found in
the best regulated city establishments salesmen who
have no higher sense of their professional position
than to hand out unsolicited advice or even to ques
tion the propriety of the customer making known his
demands in the form of an ultimatum. Something
else just as good is often pushed on his attention
and his refusal to take it is looked upon as a personal
reflection upon the clerk who offers it.
To be sure, the insulting clerk exists on sufferance,
a sufferance born of the American habit of letting
things go. It is more than twenty years since Her
bert Spencer took the American people to task for
this habit, holding it up as a national weakness
rather than as the evidence of strength we had
is" apparent, but there is also apparent the fact that fondly pictured it to ourselves. This was very well This can hardly be guaranteed unless the courts shall
the government pays for a great deal of work which when foreigners did not visit us, but now it is not he restricted in thejr review to the question whether
is not performed. Cabinet ministers themselves say only out of place in itself, but it gives the whole or not the legislators did the best they knew how.
that if they had the control of their departments nation a raw appearance to an outsider.
It is proper that the American people who have a
well-established name for deference to women on the
street and. in public conveyances should begin to
insist that those who serve them should do it cheer
fully and with a well bred professional air.
The clown clerk must go.
Let us be just to Aldrich. He stood to be saddled
much quieter thant the president expected.
Sanitation Wave in Germany.
HEN staid and Bober lands become inoculated
with a fad they take it as seriously as they
do themselves. Germany is a land to which we look
for steady adherence to the established orders. In
that country beer, it is proved, historically, astronottf
ically and mathematically, is non-intoxicating when
taken with pretzels in a palm garden, your wife and
children being present and assisting. Likewise there
the cheese which in other lands would be relegated
to the,health department for fumigation is just get-
cheesebut for reform.'
Such a passion is now sweeping over the empire.
It has to do with the question of sanitation and so
strenuous are its operations that a German nowadays
scarce dares to raise the dust. Numerous town coun
cils have passed ordinances regulating thev
women's skirts to the end and for the purpose that
they shall no longer sweep the streets and taint the
air with dust, debris, lime, plastering, hair and cigar
stubs. In the town of Nordhausen, in Saxony, the
fine for wearing a trailing skirt is equivalent to
$7.50. This sum is so nicely adjusted to the cost of
having the average priced skirt rebuilt that it is
suspected the aldermen took expert advice before
fixing the penalty.
Nordhausen is a public ownership community and
we may expect to see a municipal skirt factory estab
lished at which garments fulfiling all the require
ments of law will be sold at a profit which will add
to the street sweeping fund. A skirt, department
with a superintendent of manufacture can be estab*
lished at a very low cost, a convenient unused room
in the city hall being well adapted to the purpose.
Skirt manufacturers will be employed at union rates.
The short skirt party will soon put a full ticket in tho
field pledged to the immediate municipal production
threatens to overturn the pplitical control of the has been going on in the district court during tU'e
empire which has for ages been in the keeping of past week, is calculated to start two lines o reflect
ducal persons endowed with an inalienable right to
rule, assisted by a few bright lawyers and lately by
a sprinkling of eminent publicists.
The present house of commons contains for the
first time in the history of the oldest and best-known
parliamentary body in the world a separate labor, or,
we should say in deference to English spelling,
"labour" party. It contains btft fifty members, but
has an efforvescent quality quite out of proportion to
numbers. The labor men are up and doing all the
time. They have already taught the ministry of the
quaint hypenated Campbell-Bannerman to jump thru
rings, over hurdles and to eat out of the hand. When
the attorney general brought in a bill to give the
trades unions nearly all the earth the labor members
raised such a row in the commons that the attorney
general withdrew his bill and went back to his bench
dejected. The prime minister apologized for the docu
ment, saying that he did not see any reason why the
government should haggle over the matter. He prom
ised a new biH which would make trades union funds
inviolable at law.
The landed interest stands aghast at the temerity
of labor. It sees no present hope of staying the hand
of change since the working people have the govern
ment well in hand and are jauntily conscious that
the recent elections have demonstrated that standing
together they have the majority of votes. The lead
ing newspapers like the Times and Mail froth but
cannot instill any resistant backbone into either the
ministry or the tory opposition. The liberals know
how they came into power and the tories know how
they expect to get back.
Ridicule is the only weapon left, and this is being
used unsparingly to unmask the highhanded demands
of some of the trades unions. A recent satire in
the London Times is A Middle Class Diary of
A. D. 1915." It depicts graphically and with laugh
able exaggeration the plight of a family on which the
unions have quartered two house painters and a paper
hanger. Tho head of the house has not asked for
any improvements but he is obliged to maintain and
pay these men because the unions have sent them.
The workingmen complain of the food, whistle
Tannhauser'' and slowly but surely ruin the interior
aspect of the house at 2s 4d an hour. The owner is
driven almost to insanity. The family is saved by
the paperhanger falling in love with Lucy, the
daughter. They are married and the father is, thru
the influence of tho groom, admitted to the waiters'.
whistling, which he
General Kuropatkin is now demonstrating that in
the hands of men truly great the pen is mightier than
the sword.
Reading for Children.
today's Journal may be found the first of a
series of articles on books and reading for chil
dren by Mrs. A. C. Ellison, formerly in chargr of the
children's department of the public library. Mrs.
Ellison is an authority on this subject. She has
personally directed the reading of a great many chil
dren in this city, has co-operated with the teachers
to their profit and advantage, and what Bhe has to
say on this subject will doubtless be of interest and
of great value to many parents who are anxious that
their children shall read the right things and yet do
not always knpw themselves what the right things are.
It is to meet just such a demand that The
Journal has secured these articles from Mrs.
Ellison. The subject is treated in a serifcS of three
articles, not because they exhaust the subject, but
coimsel on a matter of importance.
A Novel Defense,
TJCH'an incident as the trial of the former presi
dent of a local life insurance company, which
tion-one with respect to the extent to which, men
are ready to confide their dearest interests to the
care of those who are willing to assume the respon
sibility, and the freedom with which men who man
age to take on such obligations sometimes proceed
to play at ducks and drakes with the sacred trust
committed to their charge.
Considerable surprise has been expressed in our
hearing at the verdict of the jury in- this case. The
general expectation seems to have been a disagree
ment. There is plenty of sentiment to the effect that
there ought to have been a conviction and a good
deal to the effect that under all the circumstances
agreement on that side of the question was not to be
expected. The fact of most importance is the plea
on the part of the defendant that money taken by
him, and which he was accused of having taken with
intent to defraud the company was taken to reim
burse himself for money paid to a public official to
secure the suppression of an unfavorable report
about an insurance company in which he was inter
ested. In other words the use of uioney for bribery
is the defense against a charge of grand larceny.
We do not know whether such bribery was com
mitted or not. We have only the word of the de
fendant, who pleads such unlawful use of money as a
defense for his own action. We have never heard
of a defense of that kind before and suspect that it
is novel.
On the other hand we are well aware that reputable
concerns are sometimes confronted with the alterna-
lie officials or the paymen, o. a consideratio_ for
official favor. And yet it must be evident that no
sound and legitimate enterprise or undertaking can
afford to make compromises of thai, kind. If there is
nothing wrong there is nothing to be concealed if
everything is as it should be malicious and unjust
attack from official or other sources can do little
harm. In this case the representation is that the
defendant was held up and that as an insurance
company is an-institution against which not even a
breath of suspicion may be blown without damage,
it was necessary to ward off that danger at any
cost. This might be more forceful is a defense if it
did not happen that the company which he claims to
have taken so much pains to protect from official
censure was one which he had contracted to buy for
the purpose of consolidation with his original com
pany. It would also look better as justification of the
clothing into a dress $3,600 appropriation to the benefit of the defendant
i the
because with that limit they go far enough into it to companies was not involvedA in the question"of their
directors.,and their approval secured before the check
was written hi favor
But perhaps further pursuit of an unfortunate and
unsavory tale would not be profitable. A matter of
such moment could hardly be allowed to pass unno
ticed as if it were a matter of e\eryday happening.
But we hope for permanent relief from this kind of
trusteeship of entrusted funds in Minneapolis when
these cases are disposed of.
appointing in1
ting good. Yet reliable Germany is capable of falling been criminalespecially for Turkey,
victim to a devouring passionnot necessarily for
length of
that 27,000 policies of $1,000 or less were allowed to
lapse. This regret vn\l be shared .by those Who, hav
ing felt it their duty to comment upon the state of
affairs in, the Equitable under the former management,
were not able to prevent people from taking action
in the mattetr which was against their own interests.
Mr. Morton also alludes to the fact that he
opposed some of the reforms suggested by the Arm
strong committee. -The Journal remembers that
he opposed the prohibition of tontine contracts and
has wondered why he did so inasmuch as the presence
of this unacknowledged liability appeared to be one
of the proline temptations to corruption under the
old management. Mr. Morton's adherence to and
advocacy df '$his
fi |ff ft W |fOTt
been taken up by him with his
The effects of the doubling of the saloon license in
Chicago has been to remove so few saloons that there
is talk of doubling it again.
Mr. Morton on the Equitable.
E JOURNAL is in receipt of a letter from
Paul Morton, president of the Equitable, in
which he says:
"Now that the reform measures recommended by
the Armstrong committee and its able counsel have
been enacted into laws and the reforms must be insti
tuted and carried out, can you not, with satisfaction
to yourself and benefit to your community, con
sistently advocate life insurance in companies whose
management meets with your approval?"
The Journal does and always has advocated
life insurance and has constantly emphasized in its
recent discussions its opinion that*the
be of practical help to all who wish to profit by expert business methods. Mr. Morton in his letter regrets attorneys are quoted as Solonic wisdom. Its managers
of contract is
view of all just condemnationdisi
has received.
The Equitable, under the new management, is
certainly greatly improved. Thru the examination
undertaken by the company itself its assets have been
placed^n a rock bottom basis bad investments have
been gotten rid of its idle cash in bank has been
converted largely into interest-paying* mortgages its
expense account has been reduced in an amount of
$1,200,000 a year non-paying foreign business has
been cut off entirely. These are commendable and
businesslike reforms. The Journal is not in the
business of recommending companies* and Mr. Morton
did not. of course, expect this paper to recommend
any. The o'u a 1, however, accepts the op
portunity afforded by Mr. Morton's letter to renew
its confidence in the principle of life insurance.
The Chicago News is asking the legislature to turn
out a primary law which will be strictly constitutional,
An English traveler has just discovered that the
best English is spoken in Kentucky, that is the best
Kentucky English. Did this traveler ever run into
any of George Ade's Indiana French? It is said to be
quite commy ill fut.
Detroit companies will not hire telephone girls
who are over 30. At that age it is conceded that
"central" ought to be-."busy" with the baby. An
other reason may be that there are no girls over 30.
The Methodist revival has been declared "unfair"
by the labor union people because the Methodist
Book Concern employs non-union "printers. The
Methodists will have to hold non-union meetings.
Rockefeller now wishes he had kept the muzzle
on Chancellor Day and very lively Chancellor Day
also believes it would have been a good thing.
A little one-round go between Turkey and Eng
land might have been interesting but it would have
As a "jest'fore Chrismus" boy the Standard Oil
company does not appeal to Superintendent Roosevelt.
"Fair ly remunerative" leaves too much room for
discussion to be a useful plrrase in a-public law*
When the volcanoes and earthquakes stop to rest
the Filipino bandits may be counted on to erupt.
Springfield Republican/
Everyone labors except our distinguished progen*.
He reposes in a recumbent position within our resi
dence thru the day,
His pedal extremities idling upon the bronze of the
steam radiator,
Serenely engaged in extracting nebulous atmosphere
from a tobacco receptacle- of mundane matter.
Our maternal mentor receives Soiled linen for the
purpose of cleansing it,
And in this connectign I sfcould include filial Ann.*3
Indeed, everybody is engaged
inJiabitat cupatio in our *mesti
Excluding, as primariV suggested, our distinguished
of women's wear. As a by-product the city factory The dry dock Dewey, even at three miles an hour. i\ Chicago man was permanently disabled while
may turn out men's overalls and children's biba.**""^" distances the submarine tariff revision. ilhoppina wood.'
)L lffff
tive of substantial loss at the hands of grafting pub- a bench of three, insuring, first publicity of the com-
ii- -o-n-j-i- ._ ^1.. j-_-i. A plaint of the carrier, and second concurrence of
three judges. Without this amendment a single
judge in chambers might sign an order setting aside
the action of the commission pending a hearing of
the case.
In addition the revised Allison amendments pro
vide that appeals shall be taken directly to the su
preme court and there shall have precedence over
all except criminal cases.
of the A
some variety of oc-
gii iin iririrrmr ^ffl
D lee tive Page
OT being a "great constitutional lawyer
what the late John J. Ingalls once called an
other Iowa aenatpr, a great constitutional ass,*'
Senator Allison Was able in a few minutes' speech
yesterday to lift some of the fog which has Bettled
around the rate bill.
Granted tho fair assumption that the commission
will act for congress, Mr. Allison contended its orders
were in effect acts "of congress which could be no
more reviewed than other acts of congress. The
courts can and do look into the constitutionality ot
congressional enactments, but they are not empowered
to go any further. Hence he concluded that this was
as far as the courts could go in reviewing orders
pursuance of a law passed by congress.
To put it another way, if congress should remain
in session the year round and directly make rates
under its constitutional power to regulate commerce
between the states, the courts could go no further
than to inquire whether congress had exercised that
poWer in a constitutional manner. If congress should
delegate to a commission the duty of carrying out the
law during its recess, the courts would again be lim
ited to an inquiry as to whether its acts were consti
tutional. This is Senator Allison's argument. It is
based apparently on the assumption that congress has
the right to delegate this amount of responsibility
to the commission and that insofar as it acts there
under congress acts.
However, the Allison amendments provide for
pretty liberal court review of commission-made rates.
The rights of shippers are protected to the extent
that restraining orders against the commission can
not be obtained without five days' notice to the com
mission and then not from a single judge but from
On the question of intent the Hon. George W.
Perkins of New York no doubt holds that the Min
neapolis jury knows its business.
The Standard Not a Joke.
MAN who went to hear Mark Twain and by
mistake got into the hall where Joseph Co6k
was lecturing reported afterwards that the lecture
was funny but not so blanked funny. So one might
say of the defenses of the Standard Oil company
to. the indictment brought by the Garfield report.
Nobody believes these defenses true and yet nobody
takes the absence of a reasonable excuse for its per
formances seriously. Here is a giant corporation
dealing in a monopolistic manner wtih one of the
necessaries of life in this age of heightened civiliza
tion when luxuries are momentarily passing into the
realm of necessities. It has covered the country
with a network of pipe lines and refineries. Under
equitable conditions its immense plant and its un
limited capacity for production of refined oil for
light, heat and power would be an unlimited boon
to the people. But as the Standard Oil company is
organized it has become such a menace to the public
pea.ee that the country could almost afford to go
back to the time when petroleum was unknown and
begin over again tojjet out from uuuer the clutches
of an organization which has violated every natural
and statutory law of the country.
Its own admissions and the proved accusations
of others have convicted it of practices which make
the raids of the robber barons of the middle ages
look respectable, for they at least took the chances
of physical injury in their robberies. Yet it gets
the endorsement of smug preachers and servile col
lege presidents because of its ability to give. It
bribes legislatures and the people look upon the
sponse is the publication of cartoons which represent
the sheriff as having a joke on him. The president
of the United States denounces it in a message to
congress and its vicepresidents set up a chorus of
vituperative counter-charges against the person of
the president, backed by a chorus of hungry edu
cators who hope for its bounty.
It is time the people took a serious view of the
Standard Oil company in its relation to the future
of America. Its work is too coarse.
Pittsburg Gazette.
We have all heard of the clergyman who, upon
reminding a young woman parishioner that there iB a
sermon in every blade of grass, was reminded, in
turn, that "grass is cut very short at this season of
the year.'' The tendency of the age, indeed, is toward
condensation. People live in fiats, own folding baby
carriages, and even drink condensed milk. There is
no reason why sermons should not share in th\s gen
eral condensing process. People nowadays are more
intellectually nimble, They are quicker to catch a
point and the elaboration of ideas, after the style of
the old three-decker discourse, is not required. Tho
preacher who knows his business can say enough in
fifteen minutes to keep one thinking the rest of the
Fond du Lac Letter to Milwaukee Sentinel.
nork. One who has bad appendix removed. J.
L. Bradley. 316 Linden street.
The above advertisement appeared in a local paper
this morning. The reason for it is that Mr. Bradley,
who is a mail,carrier, has been unfortunate enough to
have had two servant girls taken ill with appendicitis,
which seems to have become epidemic in Fond du Lac
He is now determined to take no more chances in
thB way oi sendin girls tIo the hospita for opera
and is willing to work for him.
Detroit Journal.'
James R. Day is a well-fed, well-satisfied, smffg
pedant, a very big man in 'a very small community
and conscious only of the first condition. He doubtless
has made his life success leaning gracefully over the
banquet tables, with one hand tucked into his coat,
talking airy Christian doctrines upon rigorous sec
tarian lines and bringing tears to the eyes of sweet
old ladies with his pleas for "manly Christianity"
and more money for foreign missions. Of course, we
don't know much about James R. Day, D.D. To be
honest, we never heard of him until he vaulted into
the spotlight yesterday withi interview and picture.
But we are strangely familiar with his type.
Chicago News.
Those aldermen of Nordhausen, Saxony, who passed
an ordinance forbidding women to wear trailing
skirts in the streets will learn by consulting their
wives whether the ordinance is valid and binding.
Detroit Journal.
Sunday, May 13.
Progress of the Rate Bill:
of of time.e Ichief intimi-
__ ._
evad processetheofpolitics the
John Rockefeller, Jr.'s Bible class club has gone
Standard Oil's new press airent having
in a dangerous leak press agent having
i Detroit Journal.*
With a request to have her old debt's to the a
of $5,600,000 paid, San Francisco seems to be takinjr
the relief movement rather literally.
New York Herald.
I 3
and th re
judges and the verbal twists of its highly paid
IIIe wu.v weuuiuig K"~*B uoupimil ior opera- they see Will app^ __ *i.__ -v
tions, but wants one who has undergone an operation *VV** to the unsophisticated and so far as they make
.,,^.,.,J^.ii..,.iJ,ilB iiii.,iL.ili.r ii| 1, J.,-,.
If you were a boy again what books would you
readf This is a pertinent question because the public
schools nowadays try to keep track of a boy's reading
and if it is not up to the mark, endeavor to guide
hiB taste into better channels. It seems to me this is
good constructive work on the part of the schools
and must be productive of excellent results: One of
the plans used in the New York schools is to invite
the boys to write compositions on their reading. The
superintendent reads the essays submitted, not with
the idea of marking the pupils, but to gain a knowl
edge of what they are reading and what are the
mental results. One boy recently wrote an amusing
criticism of Conan Doyle's sketches of Brigadier
"It is a medium-sized book," he wrote, "with
a dark red cover. It bears the name of "Brigadier
Gerard." It is the most interesting book I ever read,
sad in parts, ftmny in others. However, there is a
mistake and* that is that his life is not connected.
It only tells of the main exploits."
The boy's criticism shows the difference of view
point of the author, and the reader. To Conan Doyle,
Brigadier Gerard was only a peg on which to hang
some glittering adventures. To the boy he was real
and he certainly considered it a mistake not to tell
all his life.
This boy would probably approve of the plan of
"John Halifax, Gentleman," who is carried by the
author from childhood thru to the time when he be
comes a grandfather himself. But there are lots of dull
spots for boys in "John Halifax." while there is
always something doing in "Brigadier Gerard."
Perhaps some day an author will ariBe with Miss
Muloch's patience of detail, Barrie's appreciation of
youth and Dumas' capacity for weaving plots,
Wouldn't he write stunning books for the youtht
But to the reading of other days. I asked a
mature person, an educator, who is probably interested
in this effort to learn what the boys of today'are
reading, whether he was conscious of having read
anything in his youth which was positively harmful.
He remembered a few books which he wished he had
not read. There was a time in his life when he
read monographs on the Indian question bound in
yellow paper. He remembered having acquired from
one of these books and having used at home the
exclamation "vamose the ranch." He had not the
remotest idea what it meant, but its utterance led
to inquiry from his father. Little by little the story
came out and after a painful interview in the wood
shed he decided to read the Bible every once in a
while. The Indian novels were being purveyed from
the postoffice by the son of the postmaster, who had
set up a stand in the room and was flooding the little
town with this sort of literature. Father complained
to the postmaster, and was informed that it was no
body's business what his son did. And father, who
had some talent for making trouble, went into politics,
the final result of this incident being a change of
postmasters and political feud in the town which may
be going yet for anything he knows to the contrary.
Then he went thru the period of reading the
innocuous tales in the Bonner Ledger and the New
York Weekly. "But the curious and gratifying
thing," he added, "is that I have not the faintest
remembrance of those stories, while I believe I can
substantially recite 'Ivanhoe.' I can do everything
with it except to pronounce the name of the Templar
aloud. As for Dumas, I used to be able to sing the
'Three Musketeers,' tho I do not consider it a re
markably good book for boys. There is some very cheap
stuff in all three of those books. Dumas does not
appear to have come to take himself seriously until
he wrote the last of the trilogy." 4
But after all is said for or against the classic
writers of tales, such as Scott, Dickens, Dumas, Stev
enson and the rest, it is found by the schools that
Horatio Alger remains the favorite of the boys as
Louisa M. Alcott does of the girls. Now Alger makes
the school teachers tired and they wish the children
would not read him, tho he has not been excluded from
the libraries. His boys are good boys, but of the
Smart Alecky order. The hero always leaves home to
seek his fortune and Alger is held responsible for
more lads running away from home than any other
writer. But Alger never ran away from home himself.
He just stayed by his parents until they put him
thru school and college and made a Unitarian minister
of him.
A boy in the school referred to above wrote con
cerning Alger's books: "The moral is very good for
any boy it shows how a boy can become a man of
wealth and it also shows that honesty is the best
policy." Another Alger review concludes: "After
a few days Paul himself started a necktie stand and
became rich."
The painful aspect of these books is that they hold
up immediate wealth as not only the one thing de
sirable, but as feasible to a green boy without capital
or, experience. If he will but run away from home
sUccess is assured.
But the legitimate is not entirely neglected by
boys. One youth who had browsed thru the plays
and written a classical essay on "The Merchant of
Venice" even ventured into that dark realm, Shaks
perian biography. "William Shakspere," he re
marked with confidence, "was born at Stratford-on
Avon in 1564. He received his knowledge and learn
ment at the free grammar school of Stratford. He
has written many plays and published them in different
languages. After his marriage he became a great
actor in London and received 200 pounds a week."
From all the testimony it would appear that it is
better for boys not to read the authors who make a
specialty of writing for them. These authors fall
into a silly habit of writing down to their con
stituency. They also adopt false views of life which
impression at all it is a bad one. The writers
who have written truthfully have on the whole dons
more for boys than the specialists even if they did
use some words which the young reader stumble*
over and construct some sentences which nobody short
of a trained philologist could comprehend.
James Gray.
Something to please the children,
Something to entertain!
Shall I dance, my dears, or wiggle my ears,
Or balance myself on a cane!
Shall I stand at the "parlor casement
And sing to the crowd belowf
Or pour hot tea over Grandpa's knee
In a comical way I knowf
Something to please the children?
Anything droll will do!
Shall I lash myself to the mantel shelf
And poke my feet up the fluet
Shall I spill hot wax on the carpet
Or cover my nose with soot,
Or gum my hair, or drop a ehair
On the top of my gouty footf
Something to please the children
Something that's light and gayl
Shall I whistle and scream at the butcher's
So the horses will run awayf
Shall I hang the cat to the curtain,
Or scare Aunt Jane with a mousef
Shall I stutter and groan thru the telephone
And then set fire to*the house
Something to please the children
Nothing that's trite and tame!
They crow with glee as they come to me
I'm never at loss for a game.
They greet me as Uncle Henry,
And jolly good times they see
In the jovial ways and genial plays
Of an elderly man like me.
Wallace Irwin in The Saturday Evening Post,

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