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The San Francisco Sunday CalL
BOOKS REVIEWED Friday, The Thirteenth, by Thomas . W. Lawson Vhe J&ystery, by Stewart Edward White andSamuelHopkinsA dams Before A dam, by Jack London The World Machine, 6p Carl Snider Ibsen, ip Haldane Macjall Gossip of Books and Who MCakc Them Books Received Lawson's "Friday, the 13th/* -a Tragedy of the Ticker THOMAS LAWSON, Boston's "fren 2led financier," celebrated liis birthday on February 26 of thi* year in a moj»t unusual manner. Oo that day his first novel, "Friday, the Thirteenth," was brought out in book form, and for the people "who never read serials" will be a distinct surprise. It Is almost a sequel to his "Frenzied Finance," Perhaps it is what he has long promised — an exposure of how the operations in Wall street arc carried on. It i« a grewsome story of death, insanity and idiocy — the doleful tragedy of the "ticker." It purports to be the nar rative of Jim Randolph, a member of a rich and famous banking house In New York. Bob Brownley, a college friend •jb£ a. member of a poor, proud South ern family, works for him a while, but later becomes a broker for himself. Here enters the heroine— a not very convincing or probable arrangement. Her father. Judge Lee Sands of Vir ginia, has lost his fortune to the pirates of th* "street" and with it several millions of trust money belonging to his confiding friends and neighbors. His daughter, Beulah, has been her father's secretary and so has learned business methods. , Consequently he jrivef her the remnant of his funds to CO to New York and win back their losses. The young friend of Randolph, who has blossomed out Into a broker of rare nerve and judgment, undertakes Bculah Sands' business, eren as be was signaled from the start 'to be Bvulah's lover. The real story is of the campaign to wrest from the buccaneers of Wall street the fortune of the wrecked Southerner. Here, in a conversation between Ran dolph and Brownley, is LaweonV most telling shot at the Washington end of the "systeni-." "That tariff bill is up a' Wash ington. If It goes through. Sugar will be cheaper at 175 than at 110." Again I agreed. "Standard Oil and the Sugar peo ple know whether it is going through, for they control the Sen ate and the House and can induce the President to be good. What do you say to that?" ''\u25a0*"\u25a0'\u25a0' ' *O. 1f.," 1 answered. •*Xo question about It, is there?" "Not the slightest." "Right again. Wlion 26 Broad way (Standard Oil» gives the secret order to the Washington boss and he passes it out to the grafters, there will be n. quiet ar-^umula tion Of the Fto°U. won't thrre?** •\u25a0 . "You've got that right. Bob." "And the mnn who flrpt knows trhen Washington begins to take on Sugar jb the man \vl»o should load up quick and rush it up to a high level, if he do>>s It quirkly the stockholders, who now have It, will get a juicy slice of the ripen ing melon, a slice tliat otherwise would go to those greedy hypo crites at Washington, who are al ways publicly proclaiming that they are there to serve their fellow countrymen, but who never tire of expressing themselves to their brokers as not being In politics for their health." Lawson is at his best in his descrip tion of the roaring battle* between, Brownley and Hie captains of the iniquitous "system** on change". These passages rise to the height of melo drama and yellow journalism. The author's critics may say that his novel is not literature, just as some of the Wall -street people said that the reve lations of "Frenzied Finance" were not truth told for truth's take, but part advertising and the rest revenge. It will be generally admitted, one may* *sy, that Lawson's fiction ha* not the literary quality of his so-called revela tions or even of his "market letters." He doe* not seem to fit the vehicle. And one might commend him heart 51y for the grim earnestness and power of his sermon— for this is naught *;.•*— upon the. woes and horrors cf speculation, if one could forget that it J* bis business in life, conducted with the largest success, to promote gamb ling in stocks. Characteristically, the author pub lishes In the back of his book fac simile copies of letters received from his admirers while the story was be ing serialized. It was a carnation, not a violet, that was named after Lawson. (Doubleday, Page & Co., New York. Price ILBO.) ___ White-Adams' Story, "The Mys- i tery," Is Good Joiner Work ' "The Mystery" takes Stewart Ed ward White of the frozen lands that gave him his enviable place among the younger American writers of this day and it Cives him also a vigorous and worthy collaborator In the person of Samuel Hopkins Adams, Journalist and magazinlet militant. The publishers of the two-handed tale explain that the co-authors "have en Interesting method of collaboration. Each writer prepared his part of the work Independently of the other. The two parts were then exchanged for criticism and fitted* into the work so Ingeniously that the story appears entirely-, uniform, although written by two" persons." "And It Is cun »lb« jollier work, difficult, Indeed, to be distinguished as a product of collabora tion. It ts a tale of mystery and adventure pure and simple and there is not a woman In it. not the rustle of a petti coat. There are three parts to the tale. First, a United States cruiser encoun ters a derelict in a lonely part of the Pacific Ocean and scnd3 an ensign with a boat's crew to Investigate and take charge. The strange, adventures of these officers and men. leading to the picking up of a half dead man drifting in a small boat, make up the first sec tion. The corona part is more exciting. The roan picked up half dead proves to be c newspaper reporter — a free lance, who had joined a mysterious expedition in his search of "copy." His tale in lurid enough to suit the most jaded taste. In the third part comes the ex planation of all the phenomena en countered in the foregoing pages. The properties of the "thriller" are all there — the lawful lawlessness of the wide seas, the melodramatic action and colorful setting and the secret treasure — but very much more than that. Early In the tale there begin to be manifest huge, fearsome phenom ena, signs and symptoms of the "mys tery," ' which Is scientific, one might say, and yet sensational. It it, of a truth, a fine, dashing story and most workmanlike and satisfying in its manner. Co-author White is a Michigan man, and was formerly in the lumber busi ness with his father, but after living In a bungalow here In California for the last two years |he has decided to join the authors* colony in New York. It was while he lived on the Pacific Coast that much of the material was collected for the present volume. (McClure, Phillips & Co., New York. Price $1.50.) ;. . \u25a0• . . London's "Before Adam/ Long Way After "The Story of Ab" One may well suspect that the charges of plagiarism lodged against Jack Lon don because of liis "Before Adam" were a shrewd bit of advertising. Stanley Waterloo's • "The Story of Ab,~ which London is alleged to have plundered for some of the material of ftls new book, did not yield him much. If the accusations be well founded. "Ab" was an infinitely richer and stronger story than "Before Adam." and infinitely more suggestive. Moreover, the purely literary side of it was strikingly su perior to the London book. But Lon don's denial of the charge is based on common sense; there was nothing in literary morale to keep him from writ-, ing about a situation like that which Waterloo dreamed out. And Waterloo has no complaint. lie. was in the field before London and got a great deal more but of it. The Californian writer . makes his "Before Adam" — the dream of a man of this day — a dream that persists from childhood and is finally, committed to paper, a dream arising out of trans mitted memory of the time before human history began, when the ape \u25a0was not yet quite the man — the virile, rugged -London of the northwest; It fails at every point where that other London was strong. The tale is told with a flat and al most jejune simplicity. It is little \u25ba more than a few of the evolutionary theories mad* over into narrative, un finished, pointless, unconvincing.. The book is well put together — pood illustration*, pom*' in colors, by Charles Livingston Bull, and fin* binding and printing. (The Macmlllan Company, New York. "The World Machine," First of ; a Philosophical Series In this age of complexities, when thinking men and women are trying as never before to read the riddles of earth and sky. such a book as "The World Machine," by Carl Snyder, should be heartily welcomed. With infinite pains and an Intellect clarified by years of careful research he has prepared in simple, smooth-flowing English what he calls a "historical Burvey" of tho facts and theories evolved from a con sideration of the growth of knowledge of the world. 'Account Is .aken in this book of every speculation and deduc tion from the time that. the, earth was considered flat until now, when • the mysteries of. the heavens are being. re r vealed. The question that Mr. Snyder always has in mind Is: ."What concep tion can we now frame as to the scheme and purpose of the world Into which we are born 7" ( - "The World Machine" is • the first phase of the general analysis of "The Cosmic Mechanism.** Other books of the series in preparation, are "The Mech anism of Life" and . "The Social • Mech anism." Interest will be added to these books by fitting Illustration. When this great work Is finished Carl Snyder will hiva deduced a sort of syn- The Sunday Call's Book Page thetic philosophy that will command one of the first places among the books that take Into account the attitude and capabilities of the lay mind for ab-' sorblng scientific knowledge. What could be more alluring than the very opening of the first paragraph, which says: "Some morning afield, when you seem peculiarly alive, a mind all open to the clamor of sensations, impressions, ideas, let your eye range the sky — it is taciturn; the hills— they are cryptic; the sea. if It be there — its murpiuring voice i* confused. \u25a0" Reflect then a little on what could bo our Ideas of creation, what sort of a world image could we form, if we had found no sup plements or aids to the primitive sense with which we are .born. If wo had no miracle-working lenses and prisms, no unjjle measures— no strange magnetic; nr/>dles. no Euclid,'' no long line, before us of explorers and discoverers to write that ample; page of knowledge which the. pressed types' make now the uni-. versal heritage, of x the " race. As it would be to us,' so it" was to men and minds like yours and mine ten/twenty thousand years ago." The writer draws a pen picture. of the enduring things and the ones that change imperceptibly,, and then says: "What has so wonderfully changed In these ten .'or : twenty, thousand years 'Is the human mind and its outlook on the world." ' Anthropology, calculation and experi ment, are the three, great factors ac-~ : centuated in, this work. In ono way and another a" very considerable stock of knowledge has been stored up for. a working basis. The beginning of the. twentieth century-gave man a true pic ture of the. world— the cosmos. as it Is. At this period the students classed the universe "' as > a cyclic process — "an^un-/ ceasing machlno with no beginning and . without any end." Emphasis Is placed \u25a0, on the discovery of the telescope, which has been. such a' helpful Implement iq solving' the big problems. In one ef fective conclusion, "and « the : book", abounds in "them, Mr. Snyder says: •"I doubt not that . a future age will accord to our own something like;- a' clear and somewhat detailed concep tion of the cosmic reality. . In 'any. event, whether. this prove true or no, this surely is certain; that our present day ideas of creation represent ;, the highest flight, or in varied metaphor, the loftiest monument of the human mind, we possess." •'•s' 1 ' Air. Snyder's plan of study traces, the path and the method by. which these ideas, these results, have been reached. In each contention -he presents an ar gument, describes a doctrine and points out what may be regarded as the moral of the tale. he says, "Is the "world \ riddle," as it has always been. It-is a simple formula that de scribes*its action., but the writer says: "When we try to conceive how across a hundred million ' miles of,: seeming empty space it can hold a colossal body like the earth to a rigid path, through out long ages o£. cosmic time, .we are baffled still." . . \u25a0 Man seems a s>mall Incident in sideration of these great mysteries,* hut' Mr. Snyder does not his 'in fluence in the great world machine. He is traced from'the "micro-man"' to. the beginnings, of certitude, and taken through each 'phase' of development. After- the generalizations, "The World Machine 'considers , each of ;the x great steps advanced by scientists' In con vincing detail. The chapter relating to Archimedes and /the first ideas , of gravitation is quite naturally one of the most' fascinating. in the book. The men of science as well as the systems they, presented arc; reviewed. , This big. subject Is broken, up; into short chapters, and wisely so," because tho human mind can. speculate just so ; long on ; the mysterious.'. -. Mr. > Snyder understands the .psychology of atten- ', tion. - Again, "-"-the paragraph of each chapter is so' well constructed,; so - full ; of suggestion, ':'\u25a0, that once read its ' statements - must be followed to "the end. As an example^oftthls take^; the ; first of the chapter on Copernicus, fur 'thcr designated as the true system of tho .world: "If ,' We '.search the' later annals' of mankind for its most pi votaj,; most momentous "event," we shall mark beyond doubt; the voyage , of Columbus. There is no other single* act, no circum stance, no happening, so", fraught^with vast; issue." - Its effect upon Europe' was simply, dramatic." 'After the " threVkth'ou- " sand, five thousand years known to his tory, after perhaps' ten or. twenty thou-' sand' years of timid groping,': of piece UNA H. H. COOL by piece conquest and discovery,,where in a chance "wind or storm may. have played' the ruling, part, the ranges of the "-earth were suddenly doubled. -In.; ten" or twenty years they had been.ex tended or forty; fold;; the ships of .effected an actual "cir cumnavigation of the earth. The truth that-- it was a ' globe had been experi mentally and irrefutably demonstrated. Europe began again to think, to won der, to reason." ' '.. The significance of the discovery of . the New World has never '•- been moro concisely or satisfactorily recorded. "The "World Machine" wasi begun- in London a\id completed in Berkeley; Cal. Green & Co., London.) J Haldane Macfall's ; "Ibsen" Is a '.'Disappointment v \ Haldane Macfall's - reputation as a 'critic, and ' biographer gains nothing by his. "Ibsen," heralded; as' and confl . dently i expected to be a book of ': con sequence." To * say that . it ' Is hopelessly commonplace is doing.no injustice. Mr. Macfall'would seem I Xt> attempt to!conr vihee, his audience that he" himself is -thei only true admirer and, 1 in fact, -the bona fide discoverer "of 'lbsenl Obviously lie has given much tinift to reading other men's! works" on Ibsen, the man, but has failed ; to finely anything ; nctv- in the plays. ' though they have been writ ten upon -by such -intelligent -critics as Archer, Georg . Brandes, Hurieker and Nordau. to . say nothing of Shaw, who does not often find it in his heart, to praise .anything. •;;;., Mr.' Macfall's style is not pleasing. There, are pages and. pages of .para graphs one line long, cut short, per haps, to give the < effect of terseness and for emphasis, but failing entirely to impress. Again there are long, in volved passages where ' subject and predicate are- divorced beyond all reconciling. ' '\u0084 ..The chronological, index of Ibsen's career and work and the page devoted to his genealogy are more interesting than any which come after them. The pictures are* done by Joseph Simpson, "tha noted, artist of London." They seem fantastic and characterless.. As for the book itself it could not be me- chantcaily improved — fine, large print; good paper, and an excellent binding of boards covered with gray vellum stock. The publishers ' deserve credit for a most artistic volume. (Morgan-Shepard Company, New t York and "San Francisco. Price $1.50.) Gossip of Books and . People Who Make Them . v Kate Douglas .Wiggins', story. of "Re becca of Sunnybrook Farm" has jiist been;issued in-Leipzig in a: somewhat abbreviated form. The- agitation that has : once more sprung ;np,.- as. .voiced by t the .newspa pers, "In", regard • to ;,"ljad. better".'; or "woulfl better"— many \wlio would fain consider themselves experts taking the stand : that, ''would .bettor" *Is the only, correct" form-7-is, a reminder -that , Pro fessor, LounBbury.'of Yale, "Tmono of his striking particles - on I. the v English lah-* guage f which \u25a0 have i;been appearing In Harper's*,. Magazine, has shown -conclu-" slvely -that V the " form of "had * : . better", has ; behind *; it \u25a0> an imposing . array great - ; .writlers, ~: both of '.past genera tions/and the* present,.; who -have 'given ltfthe weight of -their -usage." ';.-.", Hainlin Garland,' loyal -Westerner that he is. finds the charms of New York, as compared with the charms of Chi cago, not to be sufficient to Induce per manent residence. Mr. Garland has been hesitating between the two cities, and for a time was on the point of de ciding for the East, but the call of th» West 'was too strong. He has just pur* chased a house at 6427 Greenwood are* nue. Chicago, and will make his horn« there. He also has a farm in Okla* homa. besides a country house at Madi son, in his native State of Wisconsin. *•\u25a0 • - When Mrs. Flora Annie Steel VU asked for information about herself *h« summed up her life in these wordst "I have been married; I have bars* children: I have. two grandsons; X hay« lived through the life allotted to woman. and the only novelty before me Is death." ' - y: -. \u25a0 -;<• -*..'- .'.''• There is always rejoicing" amonr.tlM literary folk -when a ! new publishing house Is born. One of those occasions is just at hand, for the Lyceum . Pub lishing Company of 4» Court street. Brooklyn. N. V., has made announce ment of Its first book, "The Hypocrite," by . Bmghaxn Thoburn Wilson, due to appear about April 1. Mr. Wilson's ex cellent work is already known, and th» Lyceum people promise a handsome binding. \u25a0 . E. Phillips Oppenheim.of London has been able to live up to his contract of writing two books a veax without low ering his literary standard. His Ameri can publisher reports a steady demand for his older stories. The Indianapolis- News insists that for really original and- picturesque lit erary criticisms one must look to th« newspapers of 'the -West. An expres sion of appreciation is due this publica tion. .If It keeps looking it will flnd other good things coming out of the West. On the phrase attributed of late t© some French public oSclal. "Nous avons chassr cc Jesus Christ" (we have drlv*.. out this Jesus Christ), Alice Meynell bases this little poem. "The Fugitive,*" in the Saturday Review: Yes. from the ingrate heart, the street Of garrulous tongue, the warm retreat Within the village and the town: Not from the lands where ripen brown A thousand thousand hills of wheat; Not from the long Burgundian line. The southward, sunward range of vine. Hunted, he never will escape The flesh, the blood, the sheaf, the grape. That feeds his man — the bread, the wine. Ernest Thompson-Seton's wife is giv ing him a run for family laurels. Her recent book. "Nlmrod'a Wife." will stand comparison with his best. C. K. Shorter's assertion, "for a novel io sell well in these days It is essential that it should be badly written," ought to get the reading public into his hair. His is the talk of a man whose own work has been turned down. The fact is that every year brings a more exact ing standard In English. The cheapest literature gives denial to Shorter's claim. Mary Moss, in her review of the last year's fiction in the Atlantic, gives th« place of honor for the year to "Puck of Pooks Hill" Of the, author she says: "With all his glitter (which we orice feared might degenerate into glorified journalism), with all his restless plot ting.from land to land., his experiment- Ing, his weakness, for panache — his Sousa* - moments, so to speak — looklngr back upon his career It Is now plain that he. the man, has been constantly growing." 3§2B§j Newfoundland is to be the subject of a remarkable . book by J. G. Mlllais, son of the late Sir John Everett MHlais. the painter. The author. has spent many months -in- traveling \u25a0 over Newfound* land, and his book is to be enriched by a great number -of drawings In wash, line and color. The book "will be tha most important that has* been pub lisheJ on the subject. Mr. Millais U now busy with the drawings. Books Received The,. Carrier Crisis, by Augustus Gal lagher; F. J.Heer Printing Company, Columbus, Ohio. Friday, the Thlrt»«»th, by Thomas W. Lawson; Doubladay. Page & Co., New, York. -Before Adam, by Jack. London: Th» Macmlllan Company. New York. The Cage, by Charlotte Teller; I>. Appleton & Co., New York. Building. Business, by C.-.N. Crawd son ;'D.- Appleton fc Co.. New York ... East of. Sues. ; by Frederick .Courtland Penfleld; The Century Company, New York:tSH6snßBSßBHpP4r^ s( *wH • Running Water/ by A. E. W. Mason; The Century Company.' New York. Organic Evolution. Henry Druramond. Memorial, by. Mrs. Anna Augusta Gas kell:-'A. A. Gaskell., Chicago. A Bit of Bible When— .by Lucy Rldtr Meyer; Jennings & Graham. Cincinnati. .Religious. Liberty .in :South America, by. John Lee; Jennings &. Graham, Cin cinnati. "The "Spirit- of .Labor, by Hutchins Hapgood; Duffleld & Co.. New/Toxic . Success In Life, by E mil Raich; But - field & Co.; 2few Tork.