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passage of the State Railroad Commission Bill in the 1880 session.
It also exerted an influence seven years later when the Federal legislators created the Federal Inter-State Commerce Commission.
While Sterne was engaged in this public work his two junior partners, besides giving him assistance, conducted the Such railway practice of the firm.
clients as we had withdrew their business as a protest against the public activities of our senior partner.
ON THE BRIDLE-PATH WITH
I enjoyed at this time an intimacy with Joseph H. Choate, of the firm of Evarts, Southmayd & Choate. Daily for several years we spent the early mornings saddle-riding in the park. He was always full of fun and wit during these exhilarating morning hours. There was hardly a subject we did not discuss His days were while in the saddle. crowded, for amid the exacting duties of his profession he was much sought after to make public addresses on important occasions. On horseback he would frequently outline the substance of his future addresses.
"I am in fashion just now speaker," he said once, "but, just like wall-paper, the fashion will change."
However, the fashion to secure Mr. Choate as the principal speaker on public occasions continued until his death in 1917.
My major work for the firm was in the most exacting and nerve-racking I had not branch, the trying of cases. yet learned to conserve my energies. The result was that the wearing exactions of court work reduced my weight to 105 pounds. Consulting a physician, I was strongly advised to choose less exacting work, and especially to stop the As that branch of the trying of cases. law appealed to me most, it was a great disappointment to have to abandon it. Rather than continue in the profession with such an inhibition, I yielded to the advice of my father and brother, and early in 1881, after taking several months' vacation, I quit the law and became a member of L. Straus & Sons, already large manufacturers and importers of china and glassware.
It so happened that on account of their growing business they needed my services, and my transition period was made as acceptable and agreeable as possible. I continued for a long time, however, to long for the profession to which I was so much attached. compensation I devoted my evenings and spare time to historical reading and study.
JOAQUIN MILLER READS POEM AT
Having embarked on a business career, I reversed a decision that I made while practicing law. As a lawyer I had taken very seriously and literally the
saying that "the law is a jealous mistress." I was her devoted slave, quite willingly so, and I determined never to marry. I was economically independent as a single man, and could devote my time to the law for its own sake.
I preferred to do, as the idealist that I was, rather than pursue the law for economic reasons first, and for its own sake as much as possible secondarily, which I felt would have to be the case if I married. But as a business man things were different, and I decided now to marry.
On January 23, 1882, I became engaged to Sarah, only daughter of Louis and Hannah Seller Lavanburg, and we were married on the 19th of April following, at the home of her parents, on West Forty-sixth Street, near Fifth Avenue. At the wedding dinner, to which had come hosts of our friends and acquaintances, Joaquin Miller, Poet of the Sierras, as he was called, read a poem The which he composed for the event. manuscript, I think, is still in my possession.
An address I delivered before the Young Men's Hebrew Association in 1875 denoted my line of intellectual endeavor for the next few years. My subject was "The Origin of the Republican Form of Government in the United States." Delivered before a large audience at Chickering Hall, it was given generous notices in the press, resulting some months later in my giving another address on the same subject before the Long Island Historical Society of Brooklyn. I traced the rise of democracy, as distinguished from monarchy, from the Hebrew commonwealth of the early New England Puritans, especially in their politico
Chapter III of "Under Four Presidents" It dewill appear next week. scribes the interesting circumstances and events that led to the appointment of a Jewish Ambassador from a Christian democracy to a Mohammedan absolutism.
The fanious Henry Ward Beecher letter to President Cleveland, urging the appointment of Mr. Straus, is printed in full, some of it in facsimile. The voyage to Turkey. including memorable visits in London and Paris, is described. Constantinople and its strange people are closely portrayed.
Mr. Straus began his autobiog raphy in last week's issue of The Outlook with an account of his forefathers in Bavaria, one of whom figured in Napoleon's councils, and of the family's journey to Georgia. There are intimate impressions of slavery, of deacons dueling with knives, circuit riders charmed by the Biblical erudition of Oscar Straus's father, and the future diplomat's first lessons in oratory.
religious "sermons," which were delivered annually before the legislatures of the several New England colonies. This line of presentation was referred to in the notices of the address, and it attracted many of the Brooklyn ministers of various denominations.
In one part of this address, after re ferring to the sermons, I also quoted a similar argument advanced by Thomas Paine in his "Common Sense." Then I quoted Washington, Monroe, Dr. Rush. and others in praise of Paine's services to the patriotic cause. Several ministers in the audience left the hall, saying that they did not come to hear eulogies of Paine. I refrained from expressing any opinion of my own, but simply quoted the high estimate of the Fathers of the Republic.
This subject I later developed into a book with the same title, which subsequently was translated and published in France by Emile de Laveleye, the eminent Belgian publicist. It was a pleas ing event in my life, since the book was well received and even spoken of among American historical writers as a distinct contribution to our history.
My next book, "Roger Williams, the Pioneer of Religious Liberty," grew ou of studies made in preparing the first book. Historical writing is character ized as the aristocracy of literature, be cause it requires long and patient inves tigations and yields meager returns Fortunately, by reason of my vocation, I could indulge in my avocation, espeThe late cially after business hours. Russell Sage is said to have advised a young man who consulted him not to fritter away his time on books, but to concentrate upon one book, and that book the ledger. My own advice would be that of Robert Burns, who sang: And gather gear by every wile, That's justified by honor.— Not for to hide it in a hedge, Nor for a train-attendant. But for the glorious privilege Of being independent.
My Life of Roger Williams had a gen erous circulation, several reprints, and was highly commended by the reviewers. I published various works later, for which I was given honorary degrees at various colleges.
One more time I figured in public as a writer of poetry before I finally put the craving aside and adjusted myself to things for which I was better adapted In 1875 a large fair was held at Gil more's Garden, which then occupied the site upon which is now Madison Square Garden. The purpose of the fair was to raise funds for the erection of a new building for the Mount Sinai Hospital. Samuel J. Tilden, then Governor of New York and prospective Democratic nominee for the Presidency, made the opening address and I delivered a poem. Thus my poetic swan song was sung before an audience which packed the immense garden.
BOSWELL YOUNG AND OLD
BY ARNOLD MULDER
YOU walk in on a movie in the middle of the story, see it through to the end, only to find that it is the last performance of the day and that the first half of the plot must forever remain a question-mark. If the story has gripped you, your mind automatically tries to supply what has gone before. How did the disagreement between the lovers arise? What was the mysterious crime that the hero is accused of having committed? How did the villain get a hold on the girl's father? Rather fascinating study, but baffling in proportion to the subtlety of the story.
Professor Tinker's "Young Boswell" 1 supplies such a first part of a half-told tale of infinite charm and subtlety for which the world has been waiting for a hundred and thirty years. Boswell himself in his magnum opus had given many glimpses into his own life that were almost exasperating because they left our interest in him as a personality unsatisfied. He stepped into Johnson's life in the middle and, good artist that he was, expended his energies on developing a complete portrait of the "bear," using himself merely as a tool. But it was not possible for him to stay out of the picture, and again and again he tells about himself only in so far as the story has a bearing on Johnson, leaving our curiosity about what went before and after, so far as the narrator is concerned, unsatisfied. His love affairs, for instance. In the "Life" he marries and begets children, and there is a good deal about domestic arrangements, but it is all incidental, sketchy-as of course it should be. Professor Tinker's book fills in the picture, and a delightful picture it is. And then the strained relations between Boswell and his father: in the "Life" the story leaves us halting between two opinions; in "Young Boswell" we are given a view of the beginnings and ends of things and we are content. Boswell's life on the Continent is represented by a few sketchy letters in the biography; in "Young Boswell" such incidents as the fascinating attempt to bring Rousseau and Voltaire together form a thrilling story.
These are only hints of what the Boswell lover may look for in Professor Tinker's book. The pages are sprinkled with incidents that are beginnings of threads which the world has had in its hands a hundred and thirty years. The theater has more than once made a tour de force by developing a story backwards, and that is also about the net effect of the publication of "Young Boswell." And the fact that it is a work of ripe scholarship, that the author has spared no pains to tap the rich sources
hot from the brain forming too great a part of Boswell's equipment; but he has done what during all this time has been crying to be done-executed an authentic portrait of the man who himself had painted perhaps the completest portrait in history.
And how very much this needed doing! Macaulay was not the only one who thought that Boswell's genius resided in his thick hide. A sort of myth has grown up around James Boswell which makes his name practically synonymous with "sycophant." Not only does "Young Boswell" give the lie once for all to this notion, but it does a still greater service by driving readers back to the "Life of Johnson." Like most great books, the "Life" has been kept before the public for more than a century by the enthusiastic praise of a very few persons. The rest of us who are at all conscious of things literary have been content to admire at secondhand.
My own case is probably typical, hence this record of a personal reaction. For twenty years I had been wanting to read the "Life of Johnson." Times without number I had taken the fat volume in my hands, but always its half million words scared me away, as did a kind of vague feeling that the book was probably rather hard going. Like, I hope,
thousands of others, I needed "Young Boswell" to push me in. And I soon found that, like a great many others who have been using Boswell as a household word, I did not have any real conception of what he is or what the "Life" is.
There is, for instance, that most common fallacy of all, that Boswell licked Johnson's boots. Not until I was well started on the great adventure did the fact take hold of me that Boswell was a man in his own right, an intellect of commanding force, a personality who would almost inevitably have made an impress upon his time, even if Samuel Johnson had never been born. The publication of "Young Boswell" of course reinforces this statement. Boswell had an admiration for Johnson that approached veneration, but in many very material respects he differed sharply with him, and he did not hesitate to tell the czar of English literature so to his face, later taking care to register his own convictions in opposition to Johnson's in his notes. And a close analysis of these instances of differences between them very often shows, in the light of subsequent history, that Boswell was right and the great Johnson wrong. As, for instance, in the case of Johnson's uncompromisingly Tory attitude on the revolt of the American colonies. Boswell stood with Burke on the subject, while Johnson, yielding to the violent and unreasonable prejudices that characterized him all his life, was almost prepared to wish that the forebears of our present Sons and Daughters of the Revolution had one neck, so that George III might place his foot upon it and hack it off.
Boswell indeed defends Johnson against many and various charges made against him by the swarm of hasty biographers who published reminiscences soon after Johnson's death, and some of those defenses rather smell of special pleading. He seems to have looked upon Johnson as more or less his own private property, whom he alone should have a right to criticise-like a wife who finds fault with her husband but will not tolerate any one else saying anything against him. In all of which Boswell is extremely human and gives a display of unconscious self-revelation that makes one love him as well as respect him. And he venerates Johnson to so high a degree that the suspicion sometimes crosses the mind that the enemies of Johnson, whom, in his own phraseology, he "animadverts against," were probably more than half right in their dislike of the "bear," who was never more delighted than when he could contradict some one and could rub some one's fur the wrong way. Boswell let slip no opportunity to call Johnson "that great and good man," which phrase occurs in the "Life" scores of times, and he painstakingly dug up examples of Johnson's kindliness and
charity: he loved and was kind to his pet cat; he supported and gave a home for many years to blind Mrs. Williams; he took to his lodging a woman of the streets (almost like the hero in a present-day best-selling romantic novel), fed her, and then preached a little sermon to her to lead a better life. All of which incidents, and many more, are carefully recorded as illustrations of the fact that this "great and good man," whom enemies persisted in calling harsh and cold, had a warm heart filled with pity for all unfortunate creatures. And again and again Boswell hints at secret charities of Johnson's. Similar hints of course appear in the biographies of practically all prominent men, so that they are almost taken for granted, whether based on fact or not. Curiously, .Boswell's insistence that Johnson was at bottom a tender-hearted person creates the suspicion that he was not. On this point Boswell seems to protest too much. And again curiously, we do not care to have the "bear" made out a tender-hearted man; tenderness is somehow out of drawing in Boswell's picture. The "Life" is the story of an imperial mind in a ridiculous, mountainous body; a mind, moreover, made delightfully human by its almost childish prejudices, its laughable contradictions, its admixture of reason and credulity, its strong hold on reality accompanied by half acceptance of spooks, its strong sense of personal independence living side by side with a belief in the divine right of kings and faith in what he calls "subordination to authority." Along with all this Johnson may have been tender-hearted, and this quality may be illustrated by his attitude toward his pet cat-so much more rounded is Boswell's character than we are in the habit of expecting from even the bestdrawn character in the best-written novel that tenderness might easily fit into the picture-but somehow we are not much interested in this side of his character. It does not make much difference either one way or the other.
But Boswell was not merely a panegyrist, which character has been fixed upon him by many generations of textbook writers, so that most of us have been in the habit of smiling at him and have learned to think of the verb "boswellizing" as almost a synonym for "boosting." Again and again Boswell faithfully records Johnson's faults. In this respect the "Life" is a most amazing example of the scientific method in biography, used in an age when there were few precedents for this method. Even realists in fiction to-day who remorselessly drag into the light the secret sins of their heroes might learn something from this Scotch barrister, James Boswell, who had the courage to tell the truth about the friend he loved.
Consider the contrast between Johnson's "Prayers and Meditations," published after his death, and Boswell's picture of his subject's physical life. The great scholar was a glutton, and Boswell takes pains on several occasions
From an old print
BOSWELL'S INTRODUCTION TO THE LITERARY CLUB
Boswell is at the left, hat in hand; Dr. Johnson faces him, with hand on chair
to tell us so. And his manner of doing it brings out the essential force of Johnson and constitutes a character touch that could not have been omitted without harming the picture. Boswell's genius told him that this touch was necessary, and as a true artist he supplied it even though it hurt him. He tells us that Johnson ate so ravenously that the veins stood out on his forehead and the perspiration streamed down his great brow. Johnson was moderate in nothing-violent in his eating and drinking (and even in his fasting!) as well as in his spurts of prodigious intellectual labor. He was not a graceful kid glove, but a huge, rough, clumsy gauntlet. He told Mrs. Thrale that Milton could carve a colossus from a rock, as he did in "Paradise Lost," but that he could not cut a face on a cherry pit (referring to Milton's supposed failure with the sonnet). And Boswell's "Life" shows us Johnson himself as a colossus hewn from a mountain, not a polite manikin half ashamed to admit that he has a body.
The great Johnson was jealous of his friend and one-time pupil, David Garrick, and Boswell makes no attempt to gloss over or excuse this small trait in his "great and good" friend. And how he would have marred his picture if he had!
What could be more human and more natural than Johnson's jealousy? Garrick and he come from the same country town to London at the same time, Garrick more or less under Johnson's protection. Garrick becomes an actor, a profession that Johnson despises. Johnson becomes the first literary figure in England, but he does not earn money enough to make a decent appearance until the time when his pension is granted, while Garrick, younger and with a mind far less profound and with talents which, in Johnson's opinion, are of far lower order, becomes a very rich man in a few years and wins the applause of all London with his acting. Johnson was human, and Boswell's
genius consists largely in this, that he resisted the temptation to dehumanize him.
But Boswell as a realist never appears to better advantage than at that difficult point in the biography where he describes Johnson on his deathbed supplicating God to pardon his sins and calling himself the chief of sinners. Johnson himself, long before, had called this phrase as used by St. Paul a figure of speech, and what would have been simpler for Boswell than to call it that now and let it go at that? But Boswell had a literary conscience, and he was an honest man. He had made a contract, consciously or unconsciously, with himself to portray Johnson as he was, and now the difficult time had come to refer to a phase of Johnson's life that less courageous biographers would have passed over in silence. Johnson was plagued with "violent blood," he tells us honestly-leaving Johnson meanwhile to linger in his death agony-and he sometimes fell before the assaults of passion. And the instances when he had not lived up to the ideals that he was constantly setting for himself in his "Prayers and Meditations" must have preyed upon his mind in that last hour, his biographer thinks. Boswell devotes several pages to Johnson's departures from virtue, but he does it with a reticence and with an art that are the marks of the genius. It is realism at its best. It is needed to complete the picture of Johnson, and Boswell is courageous enough to supply it. In the same way he has the courage to tell us of Johnson's great fear of death, which is referred to perhaps a score of times. Who but a man of unusual stamina would have given so much emphasis to a fact that was so very likely to detract from the heroic proportions of his subject?
And while on the subject of Boswell as realist, there are few of the most advanced disciples of "naturalism" to-day who know better how to crowd their pages with significant details for the
purpose of making their figures step out of the book as living beings. Ta this little detail, among a large mass of others used to bring the actual Johnson before our mind's eye:
Such was the irritability of his blood, that not only did he pare his nails to the quick; but scraped the joints of his fingers with a penknife, till they seemed quite red and raw. What an eye the man had for details that make us believe in the authenticity of his character, and what a realistic novelist he might have been! It is sig nificant that he was a great admirer of Fielding's "Tom Jones," the first great English realistic novel, in direct opposition to Johnson's violently expressed opinion that "Tom Jones" was rubbish and that "Clarissa Harlowe" was the great novel of that generation.
But, in spite of his failure to appreciate "Tom Jones," Johnson was something of a realist himself, which has an odd sound to us who seem to think that it is our own generation that has discovered realism. "If nothing but the bright side of characters should be shewn," he tells Boswell, "we would sit down in despondency, and think it utterly impossible to imitate them in anything." Hence he is all for telling the whole truth about a man. Boswell had Johnson's own authority for not omitting from his record his hero's discreditable affairs with women and the other departures from virtue that may reasonably be looked for in a person of such vigor and vitality.
And the whole effect is of course what might be expected when one honest, vigorous intellect sets out to describe another. Johnson stands forth as a real man, commanding, imperial, inflexibly honest; an intellectual colossus; loving praise, but too proud to practice the arts of courting it; independent and free and high-spirited; publicly telling the great Lord Chesterfield to go to the hot place, or words to that general effect; dominating the intellectual life of his generation; the companion of lords and ladies and scholars and wits and more than holding his own among them by virtue of his intellectual superiority; accepting a pension from his King, but having it distinctly understood that it was not to interfere with the freedom of expression of his political views-and all this honestly portrayed without leaving out the human touches of weaknesses and prejudices and sins that help to stamp the figure as authentic and that breathe into it the spirit of life. All in all, it is an amazing performance; and during these many years I was under the impression that Boswell was a mere shadow of And Johnson, a literary sycophant! there are probably thousands of wellread men and women who are still under that impression. No characterless manikin could have achieved the "Life of Johnson;" it would have been too amazing a paradox for belief.
And, above all, the "Life of Johnson" is interesting. It is not a sea of words against the current of which one must swim with all one's might with teeth
set to get through it. After a few pages this sea enfolds the swimmer with a It was created by an loving embrace. artist, and that makes all the difference. One forgets that the book contains half a million words because often the words glow and unconsciously bring that brightness to the eye and that flush of pleasure to the cheek that mark the distinction between a task and a pleasure in reading.
And Boswell is so amazingly modern that the impact of his personality on the present-day reader comes with astonishing force. It has been pointed out by reviewers of "Young Boswell" that he was essentially the present-day reporter -a kind of super-reporter who knows all the tricks of that ultra-modern profession. But it has not been pointed out that he could probably give pointers even to the most up-to-the-minute presentday politician as well. As a single instance, there is the trick of getting a
statesman's views before the public by having somebody write him a letter and getting his answer for publication. Tumulty, clever politician, used that trick many times during the late Administration, by his own admission in his recent book. But Tumulty did notinvent it. A century and a half ago the idea occurred to Boswell, and we find him coolly proposing to Johnson to use it. And it is gratifying to learn that Johnson was not above such little innocent tricks and that he was hugely pleased when it succeeded. Oh, James Boswell, barrister, had plenty of arrows in his quiver, and he had a kind of greatness that was indeed different from Johnson's, but that in many ways had as rich a flavor. Is it not about time that the teachers and writers who have built up this myth about Boswell's supine subserviency to his hero should actually read the "Life of Johnson" and learn to tell the truth about its author?
THE NEW BOOKS
HE KNEW LINCOLN, AND OTHER BILLY BROWN STORIES. By Ida M. Tarbell. The Macmillan Company, New York. $1.50. This book brings together three stories of Lincoln that are by way of becoming famous in our expanding Lincoln literature-"He Knew Lincoln," "Father Abraham," and "In Lincoln's Chair." To these has been added "Back in '58," a story in similar vein heretofore unpublished in book form. If these stories throw light on no new facet of Lincoln's character, they formulate with admirable simplicity the tradition of homely wit and high purpose which provides the most familiar approach to our greatest National figure.
KINFOLKS: KENTUCKY MOUNTAIN RHYMES. By Ann Cobb. Houghton, Mifflin Company, Boston. $1.50.
"Kinfolks" was published last spring. but we have been withholding our comment until we could secure a picture of its reluctant author to present to our readers. Many of them, we feel sure, must have read with sympathy and appreciation the various poems of the
MISS ANN COBB, AUTHOR OF "KINFOLKS," PLAYING UPON A KENTUCKY MOUNTAIN
Kentucky mountains from Miss Cobb's pen which have appeared in The Outlook. These Outlook poems, together with others of equal merit, are included in the present volume. We know of no writer of dialect poems who has a deeper understanding of the hearts and minds of the people portrayed than Miss Cobb. Her volume is a very real and human contribution to American poetry.
MUSIC, PAINTINGS, AND OTHER ARTS ART OF THE MOVING PICTURE (THE). Vachel Lindsay. The Macmillan Company, New York. $3.
This is a revised and enlarged edition of a book first published seven years ago. It is interesting for its vigorous and imaginative attempt to formulate a new theory of æsthetics on the conception of "architecture, sculpture, and painting in motion." Mr. Lindsay, better known assuredly as one of our most individual contemporary poets, was for a time a painter and a student of painting. This book reveals his serious preoccupation with art and his intense conviction that its function is to serve a moral purpose. In criticism, as in verse, he has all the emotional frenzy and histrionic power of the revivalist. Mr. Will H. Hays might find in this book a groundwork for an evolution of the "movies."
PRACTICAL COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY. By E. J.
Wall. The Plimpton Press, Norwood,
Photographers of a scientific turn of mind will find in this book abundant data for the various processes by which color photographs may be made.
MY DISCOVERY OF ENGLAND. By Stephen Leacock. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York. $1.50.
Mr. Leacock's humor has never been more enjoyable than in this book. He contrives to touch up the foibles and follies of Englishmen and Americans alike, and without giving offense in either direction. Capital reading!