The San Francisco Sunday Call
"BIRDS OF THE BIBLE" BY GENE STRATTON-PORTER
"Birds of the Bible"
By Gf-ae Str»tton-P«rier, »utbor of "The Girl of the Limberlost." etc* Published by J«v
ninfs tc Graham, Cincinnati.
Wnutvtri mougnr 01 assemoung
the birds of the bible in a book?
Gene Stratton-Porter, that in
teresting woman of the middle west
tvho knows all the birds and butter
flies as intimate friends and who has.
the gift of introducing these and others
of God's little creatures into the lives
of people in a way they can not soon
forget, sometimes does this in the form
of a novel; again in simple narrative.
Either way is charmful.
"Birds of the Bible" is Mrs. Strat
ton-Porter's latest work, and it is
without question a valuable contribu
tion to any library. For the student of
the bible as an inspired work this
book points a new and interesting way
to travel, for the birds unfold beauties
that have been passed over. For tne
one who considers the bible from a
literary standpoint a consideration of
this book will be well worth while
because the author's study has been
searching. She has presented for the
reader every reference in the bible to
birds, and every allusion to them, tak
ing up the scientific history of each
bird, an explanation of why it was
mentioned as it wa.6 and a literary
study of the text.
For the one who reads and regards
the bible with critical curiosity Gene
Stratton-Porter'K book will be a sur
prise as well as an entertainment.
•The Birds of the Bible" is an unex
pected means to a profitable end. The
author does not hesitate to step aside
from the investigation she has made
that she may ndorn the tale with a
moral. This informal* and simple way
of handling a big subject is one of the
Sistiactfve features of the book. For
instance, here is a good tip to bible
"With all deference. I would make
this suggestion to ministers and Sab
bath school teachers. Root and ground
your audiences and pupils in th«» geog
raphy ol bibie lands, in tne ti/ne of
the world's history, in the animals, in
the flowers, in the birds, in the cus
toms and in the people. M&ke them
fully understand that it was a real
place. Jilled with the most interesting
of real things. Put away the spirit
ual tide of the bibl« for a time that
children especiallj can not grasp and
give them proper, foundations on which
to build. Teach them the disposition
md character of each man, from what
he wrote and his manner of expression.
Depict his surroundings, what he wore,
ite and saw. These are the things in
which people are interested concerning
living writers; and, after all, the bible
,s only a record of life and religious
traditions of a past age. by a number
jf different men. • • • jco child can
urasp the idea of the trinity or trans
figuration, or the resurrection; but they
:an learn trees, flowers, birds, ex- 1
juisite poems and people. Then with
maturity, the spiritual side of the ques
tion will develop itself.".
Apropos of the preceding excerpt it
skill noT, be uninteresting tor readers
to linow that Mrs. Porter 4s the daugh«
ter of a minister and was reared in a
spiritual atmosphere. She says that
she never appreciated the bible until
she commenced her quest for the data
of "Birds of the Bible."
The production of this book', has
meant much , work during five years,
and now that the publisher has sent
this book to the world Mrs. Porter is
lonesome. It is like a child grown up
and away from her. Mrs. Stratton-
Porter busied herself even to the dress
in which this child set forth. She de
signed the cover from a tree which
grew in Palestine, from a photograph
made by Miss Doris Fortescue Carr of
London, who also photographed fossil
A majority of the photographs used
in. Illustration were made by Mrs.
Stratton-Porter. They are of birds in
the vicinity of her home in Geneva,
Ind.' If she had not made friends of
all the birds long ago she never could
have secured such interesting results.
In collecting her pictures Mrs. Porter
has been assisted by Ottomar Ans
chutz, the greatest natural history
photographer of Germany; the Hon.
George Shiras 3d; Herbert K. Job
of America, and Hon. E. C. Cameron, a
Scotchman , and fellow of the Royal
geographical society of England. .
One of the most significant of the
illustrations in the book, "The Geese
of Maydoon," is a reproduction of a
picture which antedates the time of
Moses. 2,000 years ago. It was frescoed
on the inside of a tomb at Maydoon.
Later it was placed in a - museum at
Boolak and finally - transferred to
Cairo, where it was photographed for
the first time for this book. It is
supposed to be the oldest picture in
the world. \
Mrs. Stratton-Porier has used SO •
pictures in illustration and each
one .Is worthy. Many are genuine
achievements. Reproductions of the~
crane are particularly beautiful, and
those of the ostriches are triumphs in
But even if Mrs. Porter had not
pictured her books so generously.it
would still have been of "absorbing
interest. ' The text is bo: readable.
Her style is simple, lucid and in every
way has the charm that characterizes
all her work, particularly when she
has anything to say of birds or any
pliatte of nature study. '\u25a0
Mere sentiment and love of birds
have not been permitted to dominate
the preparation of this work. Patient
scientific research stands back of every
fact presented. For this reason it de
serves a place beside the bible and its
commentaries, and when- the student
wno seeks Is tired of the long argu
ments as to the real meaning of an
obecure word and tired, of the volume
of ' "highe/ criticism" he may take
down thig very human book and let
the birds /tell their story.
The author went far afield for. in
formation. She. ransacked the old'
book storW of the oldest cities of the":
old world and secured copies-, of ~ the \u25a0
works off Aristotle.VArist.oi)hanes.He
-. - _ 1 '\u25a0•\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0.\u25a0.' \u25a0. '\u25a0 '- '\u25a0\u25a0-':\u25a0 '::\u25a0:-' \u25a0\u25a0'.•\u25a0
UNA H. H. COOL
rodctus. Pliny,. Attar and other writers
most nearly contemporaneous with
bible historians, making It possible
to in effective contrast the com
ments of Christians and the myth and
fable of pagans of the same time. This
quest disclosed a copy of Pliny found
in London., It was translated in 163S
by Philemon Holland, printed by Adam
Islip and sold by John Grlsmond in
"Ivy Lane at the Signe of ' the Gun."
It was purchased in 163S by Joseph
Kniesnan for £1G 20s. And this book
contributed its sfrfare to the verity of
"Birds of the Bible;".
, In Mrs. Stratton-Porter's book em
phasis is laid upon the fact that the
birds of that time were used by all the
"teachers" to bring home the simple
truths to the prople. They could under
stand the similes of the "fowls of the
air." Along-t»his line attention is drawn
to the satirical cpmedy by Aristophanes,
-The Birds," in which she. shows that
he used the birds to bring home def
inite truths. She writes:
"But as he was simply parodying the
extravagance and foolishness of the
people by making the birds found a
city and do the vain and silly things
he wishes to ridicule humanity for do-
Ing, his work has no- scientific* value.
It merely proves' that half our birds of
today are known, by the same names
as they were then and have the same
habits and characteristica."
In considering the birds of the bible
the author makes striking classifica
tions. Under the subtitle, "The Birds
of the Poets," she considers some of the
most beautiful parts of the sacred book,
among them this from Solomon:
For, 10, tbe wlater i* past, '\u25a0\u25a0"-,". '\u25a0\u25a0-.
The rain Is over- and gone; ' -'\u25a0
nic flowersi appear on tbe earth ;
riie time of th<» nlnp-iiipr of blrdj< 1* come.
The Tolce of tin? tlirnsli is heard in our land;
Thit fly tree, ripeneth - her Kiren fl^s
And the vines are In blossom —
rhey ; give forth , their fragrance. -
Nearly all the songs of David, of, So
lomon, of Job and of Isaiah pay, tribute
to the birds. Of David the author says:
"Watching the parent bird move over
her nest to shelter the v helpiess young
he saw a picture "; of. trusting love and
30 lie cried out to the Almighty: 'I wijl
trust in, the covert of thy. wings.* "_ And:
j "David's knowledge' of > bird \ habits
was In his mind whenMie' penned the
Song ot^ Tru6t,' which is 'a. beautiful
example *ot his faith in God "and his art
is a poet: . •'
- In tbe Lord I,' put my trust; -
Ilnw.say ye to my soul, \u25a0 ' ,"
rice us a -bird to your \u25a0 mountain ? A
"When David sang, the exiles', song
?f rejoicing over his. deliverance and
praised the Almighty- for; Jiis | care of
:he church he uttereda' high bird note:
niessed be the Lord, ' .. '-\u25a0'. ;.
IVho bath not ; giren . tis - a prey to th»-Ir, te"elh.
Jur sotil is escaped as a bird out'of the snare -
tif the fowlers;. .'./.' .' ' ; •. v* . . \u25a0 .. ,-..;
fbe~snar<" Ik 'broken, and we arc 1 escaped/ „ .'\u25a0 '
Another.segrega.tion' classifies "Birds •
of Abomination," of which Moses men r
tions most. In fact, in the very open
ing of her bobk Mrs. Porter says that
thebooka of. Moses contain references,
to more birds than the writings of any
of the other compilers of the ; bible.
In considering these birds of the bible,
the author says that she concerns her
self with the "pure food" laws of :
Moses. Although the hawk is' in this
category he Is in great favor with the
author, who gives him the place of
honor among the pictures and dwells
at length upon what is said of him:.
"Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom?"
The birds of "abomination" have a par
ticularly interesting chapter to taem- :
The dove who suggested to Isaiah^ "I
did mourn as a dove," has his own
chapter. Of the' dove Mrs. Porter
writes: .r *. • • : .
, : "Doves and "pigeons : were the, most
common and best loved of all the filrds
of bible lands.', .They were so numer
ous that the .vefy poor, who' could not
afford the- usual • custom of building
cotes for the' pigeons, made places in
.their- homes; . and 'wandering tribes',
could secure all they wanted in a wild
state. They v/ere the chosen., bird- for
sacrifice, along with the Best of: the:
flocks,>becnuße people were required to "
part with things for.^which they cared.
An . owl.ehaivk or raven would not have
constituted a y sacrifice. These birds
were- considered "nuisances' that "every 7
one "would have been glad to destroy."
With the chapter on the eagle goes
that tribute, from Job: ;
Doth the eagle mount- tip at they rnmnicu-I,
'Ami make her: nest. oq. high? ; •
SSho dwelleth on the rock, and bath her lodgiug
*\u25a0 . ' '.There. \u25a0 - - ; . . \u25a0 . . \u25a0- ' -: '
I'pon the crog of " the 'rick and tbe strvnghold. "J
For tbpnee fthP'Snlptb'.OHt her nror, • ,
And lirr eyes behold it afar off. -
Fler youbk ones also - stick up ; blood ; ," ' .. 1
And where the . slain- are, ; tUerc is s'je. '"•
: And'" the sparrow, which, like the >
sheep, ties the -average mind close to:,
the time j of ; Christ; has, a chapter in [
this all absorbing-book. ; One after?
another/ of '; the bible writers mention j:.
the" sparrow, the little , home "bird. X ; r
":Mrß. Portersays: ':'\u25a0'\u25a0; : - • ' v
i- "i:think'l?shduld: have loved to wor
ship in that great temple at Jerusalem.'/
where^.the doves 'and. the ;-s; -s' wallows! and 1
the sparrows were allowed -to . rfest yand P
raise theiriybung unmolested. -,-.: It ;ap-; \
pears Mo me; that , aIU the" choirs.- of lex- :\u25a0\u25a0.'\u25a0''
peqsive .singers: that .ever chanted an- \u25a0:;
them's '.' at | divine • service -would ; not *be '
half so . pleasing. to!an s . a.lmlghtyj God ; as
thel'prayers : of - the faithful praised ;in „'
that old: temple, "with ,r the ;accompahi- :i
ment-of, cooing doves," the; love notes : of H
the swallows and tlie mating ecstasy >
of, the sparrows."' ', i
<?j. Mrs. I ; Porteri should hear; the birds-, in § .'
Berkeley- att- the, 'Greek theater.>;wh'en ;]
they ; sing" an .'obliga'to ; to the' works of . 1
the. masters ; of; musicvflt- would', mean j.
somethingito her reeeptive-soulr .
'/*_ From!, this book^we learn Mhat^ the \u25a0;)
best bible record of-the ostrich !\u25a0 m
the thirty-ninth chapter.of Job. This
bird, which is almost a beast, gets sci
entiDc consideration In the bird book,
and his full significance as a bird of the
bible lands. The other' chapters treat
of "The Cock and the Hen.". "The
Hawk," "Quail and Partridge," /'The
Bittern." ."The Swallow," "The "Pea
cock," "The Stork." "The Raven," "The
Pelican." "The Pigeon,"; '.The Crane"
and lastly "The Each chapter
is a delight. ' ' . .
The author's last word is one for the
owls, that In bible times were regarded
as of ill omen,-particularly on account
;of their, voices: j *
• "I have been in the habit of opening
the windows and calling them into the
cabin in winter,^and letting them perch
upon my hands and head as I made
studies of .them.: They are the birds
with, which I can converse so familiarly
as to receive a reply, and toll them with
my voice. If any deadly misfortune has
befallen me, I am not yet aware of it.
The Almighty made owls; so, they have
their place and service. lam very fond
of the owls. I dislike to see any'bird
become an object of repulsion merely
because its voice does: not harmonize
with our standard of^melody. All birds
can not be larks and nightingales;.but
it is not;their fault; and who are we
that we presume to criticise the crea
tions of the Almighty, or the,workings
of " the 'evolution as he has " planned
This home into which the owls are'
invited is:; called "Limberlost Cabin."
reminding the' readers who know Gene
Stratton-Porter's books of "The Girl o7
the Limberlost." With this v/ill come the
thought: that there must be something
of her own life written into this novel.
At least one gets much iof the person
ality of the author in her "Birds of tha
Bible." . -
The Divine Sear,
By Emma Louise ;Orcatf. .Published by , the
CM. Clarke pnblishtns c-ouipauy. Boston.
"The Divine Seal," by, Emma: Louise
Orcutt/is'a/'dip into the future," not a
good, sure plunge, but a sort of splash
ing around. The "time" of this beoklis
well along in the twenty-first century;
the place'is Alaska, and the very: far.
north; the .dramatis personae include
archaeologists, explorers, mystics and a
few ordinary mortals; the , properties,
airships and all sort 3of electric devices
for use by land and sea.
The author evidently desires to travel
the way of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells,,
bjjt there is little,that is plausible about
herJmeanderings..- 'Anything fantastic,
anything 1 that (does belong to this
age, simply;"happens." :-.- The scheme of
development—the plot—is not |convinc
ing;-in fact, it is for the; most part
absurd. This is the way the travelers
get'about: v ... -.-\u25a0--. >
, "We took' the morning -electro, leav
ing ;RomanzofCat: 10 o'clock.
". 'AIT ready," shouted the i guides.
'• "May; your search !" for,, Zallallah be
successful,' ' said 'Governor,' Hdlbrook,^
as. he gave me'a-.final handshake. *
• "/Success: to Zallallah!'/ 'cried-, the
crowd.: and we're"'off.V-V \u25a0\u0084\u25a0:_;: --;
"Over: hills: and mountains, through
yallej's and and arches.. w«j flew.
arriving at Point Barron -iiy 1\ hours."
;". Zallallah is thebeautifulfqueen of the
northern isles... She was found; by the'
morethan up to date explorers, and the
wooing and-winning of ."this "Immortal**..
promise thatsthere "will' be' real:love in
the -hearts- of men and women' in. 2000
A.I;D.*\u25a0\u25a0;--.:• : -'.:- " ;.' '"\u25a0 '\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0-. \u25a0..".":':\u25a0 -\u25a0 '\u25a0 \u25a0\u25a0' ':<-r'
This book is dedicated to, Mercy.War-;
rcn'chaytcr.D.'A/R.; ;: y.; ;
"Echoes and Prophecies"
By^F. D. Hyde-VocL Pubttsned by ti« Arid
Trees. Wettwood. Mas*. Price $1.
"Echoes and Prophecies" Is the title
of a very remarkable literary produc
tion from New England. An explana
tion of the title reads: "Dramatic
Sparks Struck From the Anvil of the
Times by the Hammer of the Spirit."
and its author-is V. D. Hyde-Vogl. The
book contains two plays. "Love and
Lovers" and "In Te Olde Colonle," and
a dialogue, "Dives and Lazarus." The
jeviewer _was quite unable to read
more than the first play, "Love and
Lovers," and, 'judging from Its position
in the book,.the author considers it her
best. If so, it is quite certain that no
one will read beyond it.
In the first place, the subject is one
which is always unpleasant. In brief,
the play tells of the seduction of Vir
ginia Campion, member of the gradu
ating class of a high school, by Louis
Perrault, teacher of belles lettres and
moral philosophy In the same school.
Virginia leaves school and takes a po
sition as governess in the family of
Rabbi Nazimova. The family know
Virginia's, sad story, but - believe her
Innocent, and when the oldest son
wishes to marry her they consent glad
ly. Just as the marriage is about to
take place, Perrault appears iri front
of the synagogue and claims Virginia
as his, and she, confessing her love for
him, sees her betrothed husband die at
her feet, supposedly of heart disease,
superinduced by extreme emotion.
The manner of writing and the
method of telling are extremely ama
teurish. Every page deserves criticism.
The-story contradicts itself constantly,
the workmanship is extremely childish,
while the subject is one scarcely to be
associated with youth. If memory can
be depended upon, David Graham
Phillips wrote a play along similar
lines, the moral of which, like this, is
that the blame is to be shared equally.
In this case, the author being a woman,
the feeling of shocked surprise is even
greater. However, the workmanship is
too* far below the standard to warrant
severe criticism, and'the book will die
a peaceful death, having attracted no
"The Christian Religion as'
a Healing Power"
By CToood Worcexftr and Samuel McCnmb.
/ Piihii.li.a bjr Moffat, Yard &. Co.. New York.
Price .*"..- •
Elwood Worcester and Samuel Mc
-omb of the Emmanuel church, Boston,
lave written a new hook,- "The Chris
tian * Religion as a Healing Power."
tn a prefatory - note they say: "Since
:he publication of the book 'Religion
md Medicine" about 18 months ago a
.videspread-desire has been expressed
'or a brief and simple exposition of the
deas, and methods of what has come
:o. be called The Emmanuel movement.'
["his Mttle ' book has been written* in
>rder to meet this desire and should
>c read as a supplement to "Religion
This.»book has 'a wider 1 scope than
he Emmanuel movement itself.*- It
uakes clear, in a way. never done before
iow Christianity,', because of the truths
:ontalned- in it and because of the
latureof the human soul, has a thera
>eutic power: in' those disorders which
nvolve moral and spiritual factors.. |
; The book, is a moderately brief, sim
>le and; frank statement of principles
md methods and is written in language
ree from all technical 'terms. ; "Hence
orth there should .be no excuse for a
nisunderstanding or .misconception .'of
his the: most remarkable movement in
>ur time,.for the founders of the work'
iaye~ presented ;thelr. case in such :a
.lear, convincing and luminous way
hat the man.who runs may so read as
o understand it.*
"Scientific Living or the
New Domestic Science"
By I-a«ra X. Brown. Published by the
HcaUh-Cu!tura company. N«w York. Priea $1.
A great truth Is emphasized In this
book, namely, that In the ordinary
process of cooking: tha organic ele
ments become inorganic and food val
ues are destroyed. This dietetic prin
ciple is most important and it la
claimed by tha author that when gen
erally known and put Into practice It
will restore the racial vigor as noth
ing else can; free 'woman from the
slavery of the cookstove and become
an-important factor In the solution of
the servant problem.
The author does more than Inform;
she arouses and inspires: she also
enters into the practical demonstration
of the new way; food tables, recipes
and menus are numerous and enlight
ening and will prove exceedingly help
ful, not only to busy house keepers,
but al3O to all persons who desire to
pet the greatest benefit and fullest
enjoyment from the- daily meals.
She wisely refrains from urging the
exclusive use of uncooked foods, but
shows what methods of cooking can be
utilized." A most interesting and prac-.
tical feature of their work is the clear
and discriminating instructions given
for the application of heat in prepar
ing food. From the author's point of
viaw it becomes evident that the pres
ent mode of preparing food 13 not only
unnecessarily laborious, but that it
Involves waste of the raw material.and
puts a severe tax upon "the digestive
organs of the consumer. The best
thing about the new way to many
minds, however, will be that it greatly
enhances the appetizing qualities of the
viands. It treats of the chemistry of
food In a way that is easily under
stood and made practicable. The con
cluding chapter of the book deals with
"associate influences" and gives sound
advice upon health factors other than
The volume Is thoroughly sensible
and enlightening; original without be
ing cranky; radical without being fad
dish; withal, practical, plain and en
tirely lielpful. No one who Is inter
ested In the all important question of
scientific living can afford to be with
out this book. It will be found of
Interest to teachers and students of
domestic longevity. It i 3 very care
fully and thoroughly indexed, adding
to its usefulness.
'"Easy German Stories." by E. H. Elerman;
American book company. New York.
"La Petite Princr**." by >snnt- Mafret. ro>
!>*l by V.dtih Uealy; American hook cutnpaiiT.
"Faith «n»l Health." by Charles R. Crown;
rtomas y. Crowell & Co.. Kew York.
"The Serenth Nooo." by Frederick O. Cart
.ett;->3'..iil. Maynard £ Co.. Boston.
"Th#» Market for Sods." by Elizabeth Good
jdw; Mitchell Kennerley. Xew York. ;
"Each for All anil All for Each." by John
?arson»: Stnrgis tc Walton vompany. New York.
\u25a0CawMcer** Northern f*eriEan.v." by Kar! hae
teker; Imported by Chart >.'« sjcribner's Sou.-,. New
"The French Verb.** by Lieutenant Charles. F.
Martin: American book company. New York.
"Beebe*s Picture Primer." by Ella M. Beebe;
Vmeri-.-an hook company. Sew York.
"Scientific Lirins." by Laura >*. Brown; the
ilealth Culture company. Faasale. N. J.
"How to Study the Stars."' by L. Rudeatrx;
frwteriek \u25a0 A. Stokes company. New York.
"The ' ChrUtisn I>l!;*ioo as a.Healing Power.*
>y Elwood Worcester ami Samuel MeComb; Mofi*
'at. Yard & Co.. Nexr York.
"On the Trail of Wa*hlnston." b.? Frederick
r. Hill; I>. Appl^ton & Cu.. New York.
"Echoes and Prophecies." by V. D. Hyde
>'ogl: Ariel pr»*«. -Westwood. M;i.<:«.
"Th«* \Yb!re Flaxe." a play by Luke Nor;j;
lie lioHej «-."Ci*. Lus iiwiii. -
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