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CURRENT EVENTS: THE DRIFT OF THINGS AS WE SEE IT. Politics was the one absorbing topic of discus- sion last week and there were all kinds of rumors as to the nomination to be made by the Demo crats at St. Louis to-morrow or next day. Before coming to this subject, however, it may be said that no events of unusual importance were re ported from the Far East. The siege of Port Arthur continues without special incident, but the Japanese are so confident of its early sur render that they have already announced their plans as to subsequent operations. Port Arthur fallen, the commander-in-chief of the Japanese armies will "address an utimatum to General Kuropatkin, asking him to. surrender, to avoid further useless bloodshed. A copy of the ultima tum is to be sent to the Powers. Should General Kuropatkin refuse to surrender, the Japanese ex pect that they will be able to annihilate him." Populist and Prohibitionist Politics. In their intense interest in political develop ments, however, the American people of late have given but little attention to the struggle between Jap and Cossack. And political interest has naturally centered about the choice of a Demo cratic Presidential candidate. For months Roose velt's nomination has been a foregone conclusion, and the Prohibitionists and Populists have not been regarded as sufficiently numerous to turn the tide of battle. At any rate, these minor parties have already decided on their leaders, leaving the Democrats in undisputed possession of the stage. The Populists took Independence Day for their convention, but The Progressive Farmer goes to press too early to report the results of their meet ing at Springfield, HI. Perhaps the most nota MoWm!M5ffAF'1fr'ift ihe Tfvsip-nntJvn of "Nation al Chairman Marion Butler, who was succeeded by J. A. Edmonston, of Nebraska. Mr. Butler is now making large fees as a corporation lawyer, and says he will not have time to take an active part in the campaign this year. It is rumored, moreover, that he will vote for Mr. Roosevelt. Tom Watson, of Georgia, is the only man whose name we have seen mentioned as the Populist Presidential candidate. The Prohibitionist Convention would probably not have attracted the attention of the average American but for the prospect of the nomination of General Nelson A. Miles as the standard bearer of the party. General Miles has not been at all conspicuously identified with. the party, but he seemed to be willing to accept its nomination for the Presidency, and would doubtless have been chosen but for his telegram just prior to the balloting requesting that his name be withdrawn from consideration. The convention then turned unanimously to Dr. Silas C. Swallow, of Pennsyl vania, for first place on the: ticket, and to Dr. George W. Carroll, of Texas, for. second place. ,r- ,f -. The Rival Factions in the Democratic Party. But it is to St. Louis that all eyes are now lurnea, anii lo-murruw wllx ma., w-io ucgiumuf, in that city of what promises to be one of the most stubbornly fought political battles in the his tory of our country. There the two opposing r tendencies in the Democratic Party meet in wor tal combat one element leaning strongly toward ) i 1 ' it . 1 1 "T x 3 T VI I Jropuiism, uie ouier siruiigiy tuvvaru. ivepuuin;au ism. There are the Cleveland forces anxious to conciliate the "business interests" of the East and sneering at the agrarianism of former plat forms. There are the Bryan forces fired with a passionate devotion to what they regard as the in: terests of the laboring classes, resenting with open bitterness every effort to make terms with the giant corporations of the country. No small task will it be to find a common meeting ground for the rival factions; no small tact' will be re quired to find a candidate acceptable to both. V , id" . . . . Parker and Cleveland. . Judge Alton Brooks Parker, of New York, at once time promised to be the peace-maker, but in spite of his silence, he has come to be regarded as the candidate of a faction. Mr. Cleveland's hearty endorsement of the New York jurist was naturally followed by Mr. Bryan's outspoken op position to Cleveland's choice, and the fact that Parker has been the most formidable candidate for the nomination has aroused the jealousy of the other aspirants, leading undoubtedly to secret plotting against him. If it required only a ma jority vote to win, as is the case with other politi cal organizations, Judge Parker would neverthe less be reasonably sure of the nomination, but the two-thirds rule leaves the result very much in doubt indicating very probably a deadlock for the first day of the balloting. Thus a deadlock might mean a dark horse, but be it remembered that the same two-thirds rule which suggests a dark horse also indicates the defeat of any dark horse to whom there is any considerable opposition. And this is what causes us to regard Cleveland's nomination as impossi ble regardless of the efforts that have been made during the past week to force his nomination. The more discriminating party leaders also see that Cleveland's nomination would be a monumen tal political blunder. A man like Cleveland or Bryan who has grievously offended the other fac tion of the party cannot hope, in the face of the present prosperity of the country, to win strength enough to defeat the party in power. Mr. Cleve land is also a vulnerable candidate. There is much yet to be explained about his administration, not the least notable mystery being that in regard to the midnight sale of Government bonds at a rate $20,000,000 below the market price. Yet it is very evident to a man able to put two and two together that the "Sage of Princeton" hopes . to stampede the convention and win the nomination. While protesting from time to time that his name ought not to be considered, he has studiously avoided saying that he would not ac cept the nomination if it were tendered him," and when this question was put squarely to him last week, he dodged it quite artfully. Add to this the fact that he has spent half his time this year "explaining" his Presidential record in magazines and public addresses; that he has argued that the "no third term" principle would not apply to him because the terms were not consecutive, and that he is having a private wire connected with his house so that he may keep in touch with the St. Louis Convention well, all this may be acci dental, but we don't believe it. The Greatest of These is Williams. The one man in the convention who has def initely proved himself of Presidential size, and who is not fatally entangled in factional quarrels, is John Sharp Williams, of Mississippi, minority leader in the National House of Representatives and temporary chairman of the St. Louis Conven tion. As a leader of his party in the House, he ha3 developed a conservative but vigorous and forceful policy, and he neither clings to dead is sues for the sake of consistency nor fawns be fore the powerful to win their aid for his party. No other man has so grown uponthe country of recent years and no other man' gives promise of measuring so fully up to jhe old standards of Southern statesmanship. Well has it been said that if he were a resident of New York, no other name would come before the Convention at St. Louis. And wjiile as yet jit cannot be, the day is not so far distant when some such clean, strong, broad-minded Southerner T&ill trimph over out worn prejudicies and stanxl before the people as his party's chosen leader in a great NaPpnal po litical contest. Williams may himselibe that man, for he is not yet fifty years old. Inpact, one of the leading American magazines Everybody's suggests that he ought to be nominated this year. "There may be a few moss-coveredVmnkers in the North who would get excited if a rtjuthern man were nominated for President," it sa, fbut there can't be many of them, and they woulivvote the Republican ticket under any circumstances. What Northern Democrat or Independent wWd be frightened by that old scare-crow?" , Will Bryan Bolt? And now a leading question is, Will Brvan blt if a Cleveland man is named? As yet he has ntfs given a definite answer. "While a Democrat pre sumes that his convention will write a platf oi and nominate a ticket that he can conscientiously mirvn.i T id X. ' l 1 I aujjjjuAi,, xie nays, li is nox a conclusive prsgr sumption, and I do not believe that any one ought u uo asivcu, ux eiptjcieu xo say xnax, no matter what a convention does', he will support the ticket. For that reason I defer until the convention has acted a decision upon the course that I will pur- sue. And this suggestion brings to mind the differ ence in the standards of conduct set up for us smaller fellows and those set up for the great chief tans of politics. Among us common folk the man who scratches a ticket is regarded as one of the uncircumcised and the Philistines, and yet our high priests in both parties teach differently both by precept in the synagogues and by example in their own lives. Here is Mr. Cleveland, for example, three times his party's leader, who will scratch the ticket if the candidate is a Brayan man, and here is Mr. Bryan, twice his party's leader, who will scratch the ticket if the candidate is a Cleveland man; Mr. Bryan saying in so many words that "a man should make his party affilia tions suit his convictions, not his convictions suit his party creed," and Mr. Cleveland saying as much by his actions. Mr. Roosevelt also has taught the same doctrine to Republicans as the following paragraph bears witness : "In .political life, whether a man acts without or within party lines is not of 'very great moment, if only he always acts honestly, fearlessly and ef fectively; but remember ' that it is necessary to be both efficient and upright, too. Parties are ncessary. Without association and organiza tion, and the necessary partial subordination of individual preferences, no great work can be done; but on the other hand, no man has a right to condone crime, to excuse moral shortcomings of any kind, because of alleged party necessity; The Hawthorne Centenary. In connection with her celebration of Inde pendence Day, New England also celebrated yes terday, the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Nataniel Hawthorne, author of the great est American novel. We cannot do better in the brief space at our command than to quote from the New York Outlook, of July 2nd, which says: "A descendant of the Puritans, born in the vil lage associated with the most terrible tragedy in the history of Puritanism, Hawthorne became the most subtle and artistic interpreter of certain aspects of the Puritan spirit. Educated at , a country college in a time when all the colleges in America were practically country colleges, with access to few books, and opportunities of contact with fewer men of his "own tastes', condemned by circumstances and his own temperament to a life of almost complete solitude for twelve years, it was not surprising that he was driven in upon himself, and that the human soul became the ob ject of his supreme interest, the subject of his most subtle psychological study; and it was the soul out of harmony with itself, out of relation to the moral law, which interested him most pro foundly. His touch on morbid conditions is that of the skilful physician whose finger follows by a delicate instinct the line of disease, and whose insight lays bare the secret recesses of morbid ex perience. To re-read 'The Scarlet Letter 'The House of Seven Gables 'Twice-Told Tales 'Sep timius Felton is to traverse some of the most obscure fields of experience, to study critically some of the most subtle phases of the life of the soul, to follow to their innermost recesses some of the most elusive motives which control the ac tions of men."