Some Men and Events in the Public Eye
S. A. Warner
The BUSY MAN’S MAGAZINE
Vol XVII DECEMBER 19 0 8 No 2
RANSACKING round in an old artist’s studio in Brompton Road, London, some few months ago, a Canadian antiquarian, Mr. J. M. Simpson, of Toronto, collected a mass of curios, which he purchased and brought out to Canada. Among the odds and ends was an old copper plate, black with age. At first it was laid aside, no one dreaming that it was more than scrap metal. The antiquarian spirit being strong in Mr. Simpson, he examined it more closely the other day and scraping off a little of the accumulated dirt, came upon some color underneath.
His interest aroused, he set eagerly to work to clean the plate. What was his astonishment to find gradually disclosing itself a painting and no ordinary painting at that! Finally there stood revealed to his astonished eye Sir Benjamin West’s masterpiece, “The Death of General Wolfe.”
Now “The Death of General Wolfe” in its supposedly original form is a life-size painting, the property of the Duke of Westminster. This painting was exhibited a few years ago in Toronto at the National Exhibition, occasioning intense interest. It was painted by Sir Benjamin West at the command of King George III., about the year. 1771, and now hangs in the Grosvenor Gallery.
Contrasting the plate in Mr. Simpson’s possession with the larger painting, it is immediately clear that the former is no mere copy of the latter. In fact, it is un-
questionably the work of the artist himself, for the smaller painting is full of life, and, in several respects, excels the larger painting.
It is tolerably certain that before Sir Benjamin West painted the large picture, he had painted a small one. It was the small one which the King saw and which occasioned his command that the artist make a life-size copy. There seems little reason to doubt that the real original of the famous painting is the one now in Toronto. The frontispiece shows West’s masterpiece.
Sir Benjamin West, though he lived most of his life in England, was an American by birth, being a native of Springfield, Penn., where he was born in 1738. In his vouth he traveled a good deal, but settled in England in 1763. He was introduced by the Archbishop of York, for whom he had executed an historical painting, to King George III. The King became his steadfast patron and gave him commissions for many years. In 1772 he was made historical painter to the King, and in 1790 surveyor of the royal pictures. He was one of four selected to draw up a plan of the Royal Academy, was one of its original members, and succeeded Sir Toshua Reynolds in 1792 as its president. West’s pictures numbered about 400. of which “The Death of General Wolfe” is conceded to be his best. In this painting West departed from the custom of the artists of the day, of giving the characters Greek or
Roman costumes. Reynolds, who had endeavored to dissuade him, later said : “I
retract my objections. I foresee that this picture will not only become one of the most popular, but will occasion a revolution in art.” Woolett’s plate after this work had the largest sale of any engraving of modern times.
LORD AND LADY NORTHCOTE have just passed through Canada on their way home to England from Australia, where during the past five years Lord Northcote has held the post of Governor-General. Interest in the vice-regal couple in Canada is intensified because of Lady Northcote’s connection with that distinguished Canadian peer, Lord Mount Stephen, she being his adopted daughter. The Northcotes were intensely popular in Australia, and no little credit for this popularity belongs to Lady Northcote. She won the hearts of the women of the Commonwealth particularly. Of her, • the Premier, Mr. Alfred Deakin, said: “Lady Northcote has done more for the women of Australia than any one of her own sex or
of the other sex.” lust before Ladv North-
cote left Melbourne the women of that city honored, her by a remarkable demonstration of spontaneous affection. In the middle of a Sunday afternoon they gathered in thousands from all parts of the city and suburbs, and marched, a great and irregular army, up the drive of Government House. They represented every class—women prominent in society, scores of mothers bearing in their arms babies which had been sheltered at Lady Northcote’s creches, hundreds of factory girls. And as Lady Northcote, deeply moved, appeared on the balcony, thousands of voices were lifted in “God be with you till we meet again.”
POSSESSING TACT, energy and ability in the performance of duty, a man recognized as one of the most zealous and efficient officers that the Imperial authorities have ever sent to Canada, Major-General Percy Henry Noel Lake, retiring Inspector-General of the Canadian militia, is one of the two military men upon whom birthday honors from King Edward were lately bestowed. This is the second occasion that a decoration has been conferred upon the gallant soldier. Three years ago he was made a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, and now he has been created a Knight Commander of the Order. Sir
Percy Lake’s career, both at home and abroad, is full of interest and incident. Early in life he was fired with the military spirit, and since his college days he has spent all his time in the service of the Empire. He has won distinction in many a fierce conflict. Beside his recent decorations, he wears the Afghan medal, the Egyptian medal with two clasps, and the Egyptian bronze star. His first Canadian appointment was in 1893, when he was made Quartermaster-General, a post which he held for five years. He was appointed
Chief of the General Staff of Canada in 1894, and has occupied that position ever since. He entered upon military service as a sub-lieutenant in the 59th Foot in 1873, and two years later he was promoted lieutenant. In 1881 he was transferred to the East Lancashire Regiment, in which he obtained his captaincy in 1883. His subsequent promotions were: Major, July,
1891; Lieutenant-Colonel, 1899; Colonel, 1902; Brigadier-General, 1904; MajorGeneral, 1905. Sir Percy has served in
different capacities in Egypt, Ireland, Canada, India and at Army Headquarters in England. In active operations he was engaged in the Afghan War from 1888-89, being Assistant Field Engineer with the South Afghanistan Field Force. He was also with the Soudan Expedition in 1885, as well as at Suakin, Hasheen and Tofrek, and the advance on Tamai.
ANOTHER MILITARY MAN to be honored by his Sovereign is Brigadier-General D. A. Macdonald, who holds the position of
Quartermaster-General in the Militia Council of Canada. Brigadier-General Macdonald was born in 1845, and is a son of the late A. E. Macdonald, Deputy Clerk of the Crown and Register of the Surrogate Court at Cornwall, Ont. He married in 1876, Mary, second daughter of the late Hon. Mr. Justice Richardson, of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories. He served during the Fenian Raids of 1866 and the Red River Rebellion of 1870, receiving a medal with two clasps. He also
served in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885 and received another medal. He holds the long service medal. He was for some time Chief Superintendent of Military Stores and Director-General of Ordnance, and since 1904 has been Quartermaster-General of Ordnance. In 1903 he received the I.S.O. He has now been created a C.M.G.
ROYAL RECOGNITION of Canadian journalism has been somewhat tardy. When one considers the great educative value of the Canadian press in building up and extending the material wealth and prosperity of the country, when we behold the papers taking hold cheerfully and devoting valuable space and time to the promotion of charitable projects and in other various ways actively bettering of the engaged in the conditions that surround mankind one cannot help but feel that there is no honor, however high, that could not be fittingly bestowed upon any one of our well-known Canadian journalists.
The Knighthood bestowed on fir Hugh Graham
on the King’s birthday is probably the first that has ever come to a Canadian newspaper man as a newspaper man. Sir Hugh is the owner of the Montreal Star. He is the son of a Scotch settler in the eastern townships, and was born at Athelstan, Huntingdon County, in 1848. Mr. Graham began life as a writer, but speedily turned his attention to the business end of newspaper work, and after some preliminary and preparatory work, such as becoming secretary-treasurer of
the Montreal Gazette when he was twenty, he launched, in company with several associates, the Montreal Evening Star. That was in January, 1867, almost forty years ago. He soon secured complete control, and the Star of to-day with its great circulation and influence in Eastern Canada is Mr. Graham’s life-work. Sir Hugh has been generally on the Conservative side in politics, but during the past year or two the Star has been practically neutral.
The handsome new building of the Canadian Military Institute which was recently opened in Toronto, is an ideal military home unsurpassed in appointments and comfort. The cost of the structure was in the neighborhood o f $20,000, the funds being raised by the officers of the different units and a 'few generous friends. The Canadian Military Institute was formed in 1890 by a group of officers headed by Brigadier - General Then Lieut.-Colonel) W. D. Otter, for the purpose of providing a headquarters for the study of military science, the giving of lectures on military subjects by authorities in the various arms of the service and affording a social military centre. Its purpose and object are by no means local, the Institute being intended for headquarters where all military men in Canada could gravitate when in Toronto. Officers are now on its membership roll who live on the Atlantic as well as on the Pacific Coast. The library, comprising histories, military text books and the proceedings of scientific military clubs and institutions, is one of the
most valuable and complete in America owing largely to the erudition and energy of L. Homfray Irving, the Honorary Librarian. It contains over 3,000 volumes. In a word, it may be said that the Institute represents the scientific aims of the service in the same manner as the United Service Institution and other organizations in Great Britain. The conveniences and accommodation of the new building are ample and admirable, and among them it may be noted that there are bedrooms available for the use of officers passing through or temporarily in Toronto. These apartments are designated by such names as “Detroit,” “Chateauguy” and “Chryslers Farm,” thus affording a home for traveling military visitors in which there is an atmosphere both cheerful and congenial.
THE GORGEOUS UNIFORM of the Life Guards will soon be seen in Canada, if all reports are correct. There is a well-founded rumor, emanating from headquarters at Ottawa, that a new corps is soon to be formed in the Capital, and that this corps will wear the uniform of the Life Guards. Sir Frederick Borden is to place the new command under his son-in-law, Leslie Macoun, one of the prominent members of the younger set in Ottawa. The illustration
show7s a company of the Second Life Guards in London, drawn up for inspection. The uniform is a very brilliant one and when introduced into Canada will undoubtedly create a sensation.
A CANADIAN WOMAN w?ho has brought honor to her native country, her art and her profession, is Miss Christie Macdonald. In the sphere of musical comedy and comic opera she has, by dint of genius, ability and perseverance, rapidly made her w7ay to the front. Nova Scotia is the Province which claims her as a loyal daughter, that seagirt section of Canada w?hich has given to the w7orld, and to the Dominion in particular, so many sons that have wron renown as statesmen, theologians and heads of great seats of learnings. Now7, in a totally different sphere, has the historic County of Pictou, the birth place of Miss Macdonald, had honor brought to its borders. As the leading lady in that delightful musical comedy, “Hook of Holland,” which Frank Daniels is presenting, she was, during her recent tour of the Dominion, accorded an enthusiastic reception in all the leading cities. Coming from a cultured family, thoroughly artistic in temperament, the progress of Miss Macdonald is in a measure simply the natural development of youthful proclivities ; the fruition and expansion of
a nature that takes kindly and sympathetically to the art of which she is such a gifted votary. Her mother, Miss Jessie Mackenzie, one of the most beautiful women of her day, was a vocalist of no mean merit. The sons were noted for their musical talent, but the daughter has become the brilliant exponent of an endowment which has enriched the profession which she adorns and added to the galaxy of Canadian actresses which includes Julia Arthur, Margaret Anglin, Roselle Knott and a few others whose names can be readily recalled. Miss Macdonald bas studied in Boston, New York and other art centres under distinguished masters. Her voice is a lyric soprano of rare charm and sweetness. Her intonation and expression are admirable. In I he most ambitious passages as well as in the tender love song or the sentimental ballad she is thoroughly at home. Her singing, so pure, rich and artless, captures appreciation, and she immediately wins her way to the hearts of her auditors. Her first appearance in public was with Francis Wilson as “Lucinda” in “Half a King.” She next achieved success in the title role
“Princess Minutteza” in “The Bride Elect.” Subsequently she scored triumphs in the role of “Princess Sheik” and in “Hodge Podge.” Later she rejoined Francis Wilson’s Company as prima donna in “The Toreador,” and now she is starring with that drollest of comic opera exponents, Frank Daniels.
WHO IS DR. ANDREW MACPHAIL, who writes such severe criticisms of the American woman in the London Spectator? Dr. MacPhail is a Montrealer. He is a well-todo physician, interested in politics and literature. He is the man behind the University Magazine, Canada’s best effort in high-class literary journalism. He has written at least one novel, and numerous essays. But when he undertakes to criticize American women, he raises the ire of the fair sex. A writer in a recent issue of a Canadian newspaper voices the sentiments of outraged womanhood thus: “Dr. Mac-
Phail is a logical writer. If one reads any political or literary articles written by him one is immediately struck by the clearness of his thought as much as by the elegance
of his style. Then one picks up his article on Woman—and one realizes how hopeless it is to expect any man, however sane his utterances on politics or literature may be, to discourse intelligently on Woman. In one breath he discourses eloquently on her idleness ; in the next, he refuses indignantly to allow her any outlet for that idleness save manual labor. He hints that she is an awful fool—woman taken collectively, that is—quite unfit for a professional or a political career, but capable of bearing children ; and neglects to notice that wellknown and generally acknowledged fact that the sons of a family are far more apt to resemble their mother than their father and that, consequently, a woman who has never used her brain or her will but has spent her life in obediently kow-towing to the nearest male is almost certain to give birth to a male as foolish and weak as herself.
“But this is logic, and what have ‘the logical sex’ to do with logic where women are concerned. ‘Any stone will do to throw
at a dog’ and any old saw will do to throw at a woman if she attempts to reason with a man.
“How often one hears that ‘a woman’s business in life is to be a wife and mother.’ How beautifully true ! but why does no one reply ‘A man’s business in life is to be a husband and father.’ Is that not equally true? but what a nonentity would we think of a man who was nothing but a husband and father ! The stupidest and most limited man is at least required to understand some business ; and even if he knows nothing in the universe except that business he is expected to give a vote and have a voice in the affairs of the nation.
“If we take Dr. MacPhail’s article seriously we must logically conclude that women are the only people entitled to vote. As they have nothing else to do they have plenty of time on their hands in which to give that serious attention to politics which the busy life of a man denies him.
“But this is logic and what have ‘the
logical sex’ to do with logic where women are concerned?”
THE FAME of the Sutton sisters as tennis players has become international. It is unusual to find a family of players all of about equal skill and all of championship calibre. Miss Florence Sutton was champion of the Pacific States in women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles in 1907. Miss Ethel Sutton (now Mrs. B. O. Bruce) was co-champion with her sister, Florence, of the Pacific States in women’s doubles anP mixed doubles in 1907. There is also another sister, Violet, who since her marriage has not played lawn tennis publicly. She was reckoned second in strength to her redoubtable sister, May. Two of the Sutton sisters—Miss May Sutton and Mrs. B. O. Bruce—already play golf, but only in the intervals of lawn tennis. Mrs. Bruce won a trophy in the mixed foursomes at the annual golf tournament at Del Monte, California, in 1907, and already shows much aptitude for the game.
IT WOULD SEEM natural to assume that the leaders of the woman’s suffrage movement in England were of the Carrie Nation stamp of person. In picturing to the mind the attacks on the Houses of Parliament, the
struggles with policemen and all the other incidents in the fight for women’s rights, we are prone to think of the warfare as being waged by big raw-boned women, strong rather than beautiful, mannish rather than feminine. But that this is far from being the case is abundantly proven by a glance at the portrait of Miss Christabel Pankhurst, one of the younger leaders of the suffragettes. In company with her mother and Mrs. Drummond she has martyred herself for the cause and is now serving a ten weeks’ sentence in prison as a result of ultra-enthusiasm. She is certainly one of the most interesting and attractive supporters of the movement. She is young and pretty, and if in these topsyturvy days the sex does gain the vote and subsequently the Blouse, she may yet be seen leading a feminine Government. At the trial at Bow Street she spoke for forty minutes in her own defence, and is said to have wept copiously. (Max Beerbohm, describing the trial, writes : “Her voice is
charmingly melodious, and the art with which she manages it seems hardly compatible with its still childish ring. And her face, still childish too, is as vivid and as variable as her voice, whose indexions have always their parallel in her eyes and mouth. And not there merely. Her whole body is alive with her every meaning; and, if you
can imagine a very graceful rhythmic dance done by a dancer who moves not her feet, you will have some idea of Miss Pankhurst’s method. As she stood there with a rustling sheaf of notes in one hand, her other hand did the work of twenty average hands. But “work" is a dull term for those
lively arabesques with which she adorned the air of the police court, so eagerly and blithely, turning everything to favor and to prettiness.”
G. T. BELL, general passenger and ticket agent of the Grand Trunk Railway System and Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, who was recently appointed president of the Ameri-
can Association of General Passenger and Ticket Agents, has been long identified with railway work and is one of the most popular officials of the Grand Trunk. The association which has honored him by electing him to preside over its deliberations is the oldest railway organization in the
world, having been formed in Pittsburg, Pa., March 13th, 1855. Its membership comprises the chief passenger officers of every important railway, coastwise and inland navigation company in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Its annual meetings afford the members special opportunities to become acquainted with each
other and to familiarize themselves with the constantly expanding transportation facilities and newly developed resorts and sections of the North American continent. It aims to consider questions affecting passenger travel along the broadest possible lines, and to secure uniformity and improvement of methods and to extend them beyond the restricted limits to which the operations of territorial passenger associations are necessarily confined.
FROLICS on the stock exchange are of common occurrence when business is dull. The pent-up excitement of the members on the floor must find vent in some way or other, and if there are no stocks to sell or buy, something else exciting must be done. All manner of pranks are indulged in. . The practical joker has a rich field to work, and it is seldom that some fun is not on foot. The illustration shows one of the games played by the brokers on the London Stock Exchange. Those who play this game seek to throw a length of the paper tape from the tape machine over the hand-rail, which runs round the great dome of what is known as the Kaffir Circus. As the dome is one hundred feet from the ground, considerable skill and some strength are needed for the accomplishment of the feat. The picture
shows a broker successfully getting his tape over the bar.
A NOTICEABLE feature about the procession of London's unemployed, illustrated this month, is the youth of most of its members. These young men who should be a bulwark of the Empire are allowed to grow up in haphazard style and become in many cases idle and useless weeds. They know, as a rule, no trade, they are undisciplined, ignorant and easily led by any windy demagogue. If every young Englishman were compelled to learn discipline under a regular system of training, these youths would become asset? to their country and the problem of unemployment would be to a great extent solved.
Prince Von Bulow, stands out prominently in the public eye at present. A writer in the Graphic thus describes him : “A fine figure of a man, upright and squareshouldered, not more than pardonably stout, dressed to quiet perfection, smooth of hair and neat of moustache, he distributes perfunctory handshakes at a reception in the Wilhelmsstrasse with a benevolent dignity that nothing, you would think, would ruffle ; or standing erect and cool in the Reichstag, facing a savage Opposition, alert for the tiniest slip, he drops with consummate art the clever phrases and biting epigrams of one of those long-prepared orations that have won him the name of the greatest master of meditated eloquence in Europe. In the place of battle where Bismarck would rage like a baited bull, his third successor smiles and dispenses oil and acid with well-kept hands. His speeches are literature. They show him a man of books as well as natural wit and finished statecraft ; it is not for nothing that he is depicted with a pocket dictionary of quotations in the caricatures of the comic journals, which in Germany are invariably against the Imperial Government.
“So much the world sees and hears; but the work by which the Prince has won fame for his country as the land of political miracles, his triumph of parliamentary genius, has been done behind the scenes. Faced by the opposition of Socialists and Catholics, the two strongest parties in the Empire, he has created and held together through crisis after
crisis the incredible alliance of Liberals and Conservatives which, as he reminds them at need, stands between Germany and ruin. If there is another man who could have done, or can do, this, he is undiscovered as yet. The leaders of the Chancellor’s bloc know the meaning of the strong chin under the debonair moustache ; they know perhaps that the fine voice of the ci-devant lieutenant of Hussars has not lost the notes of the parade ground. Nor were strength and skill needed only in the Reichstag. Prince Bulow has had to work with the Emperor.
“Few men know more of the world than this able aristocrat, after twenty years of diplomacy and ten years of government. But one great gap exists in his knowledge. He understands little of England, and has not always managed to conceal a certain lack of sympathy for that easily misunderstood nation. But an enemy of England he has never been, and when he falls—as fall he must, and that soon—it will not be our part to rejoice at the disappearance of a statesman who said, “War is vulgar : at this time of day the man who prevents war is greater than the man who wins battles.” Prince Bulow has not been a great Foreign Minister; it is doubtful if the circumstances —impulsive Imperial circumstances—would have allowed any man to be so. If he leaves the Wilhelmsstrasse now, he leaves it with prestige a wreck. But at least he can claim that he has kept the peace of Europe.”
A good story is told in the Tatler of Lord Wolseley, whose portrait appears elsewhere in this issue. During the recent manoeuvres at Aldershot an elderly gentleman in mufti saw a young officer placing his men in a
position which had it been a real fight would have been a most disastrous one, and hastened up to him with a little advice. He was pointing out to him gently the folly of his strategy, saying, “May I draw your attention to the fact that you are cutting yourself and your men off entirely from your column, so that you would inevitably be either cut to pieces or taken prisoners?” when he was cut short by the subaltern saying stiffly, “And may I draw your attention to the fact that I am in command here?” “I beg your pardon,” said the elderly gentleman humbly; “to be sure, I should have remembered that.” And he turned and went his way. Presently the lieutenant learned to his horror that the interfering stranger whom he had so severely snubbed was Lord Wolseley.
Canadians will be interested in a recent engagement announced in England.
It is that of Lord Charles Fitzmaurice, son of the Marquis of Lansdowne, to Lord Minto’s youngest daughter, Lady Violet Elliott. The wedding, according to latest arrangements, is to take place in India in January, and Lord and Lady Lansdowne will probably go out to Calcutta for the event. Lord Charles is a dark-haired, dark-eyed captain of
dragoons, thirty-four years of age, and therefore much older than his fiancee, who is only nineteen. He served in the Boer War, and was present at the disaster of Spion Kop. Lord Charles has a Scottish estate of his own, inherited from the French countess who was .Lady Navine in Scotland and Comtesse de Flahault in France. His remarkable resemblance to the portraits of his French ancestors often gives occasion for remark.
Lady Violet Elliott is very pretty, and devoted to open-air pursuits. A perfect horsewoman, she is often seen riding astride at Minto, her father’s seat in Scotland. Queen Alexandra is warmly attached to Lord Charles’s mother, who sometimes fulfils the duties of Mistress of the Robes in the absence of her sister, the Duchess of Buccleuch. Lord Charles is second heir to the Lansdowne title, while his elder brother, Lord Kerry, is without children.
One of the interesting publications of the season in England is Oueen Alexandra’s volume oi photographs, the “Christmas Gift Book.” .
Her Majesty has been an enthusiastic photographer for many years, writes T. McDonald Rendle in London Opinion, and some splendid specimens of her work with the camera have been shown occasionally at the Royal Photographic Society’s shows. Her Majesty never travels without her camera, consequently her collection of photographs is both extensive and unique. In sea views especially the Queen’s artistic instinct is strongly marked.
Some years ago Her Majesty’s skill as a photographer was probably the means of averting a disaster. She took a snapshot of a train as it was passing over Wolferton railway bridge. On developing the negative she noticed a curve in the bridge of such pe culiarity that she decided that she had made a defective exposure, and therefore took another photograph. The strange curve was again reproduced. The result was shown to the King, who suspecting something wrong, at once caused an examination to be made and the defect remedied.
Her Majesty is often observed taking snapshots from one of the balconied windows of Buckingham Palace overlooking the Mall. She thoroughly enjoys the amusement, and takes commendable care not to waste an exposure.
JOHN BURNS' appearance and manner, and some of his little fads and foibles, are well enough known, according to a writer in the Graphic. His short, massive frame has been described as suggesting a “stunted giant.” His beard is now of uncompromising whiteness, and he possesses the most fiercely expressive pair of eyebrows in Europe. He -is the busiest-looking politician in the world. When he walks, he looks neither to the right nor the left, yet never is he known to pass a friend unnoticed or to leave a salute unreturned. M r .
Burns adheres to his bowler hat and his reefer (save, of course, at Court, when, like the sensible man he is, he “does as Rome does”), but the keenest sartorial critic could find no fault with the shape or the cut of either, both alike being the work of the West End at its carefulest.
But not for snobbish reasons does Mr.
Burns patronize a West End tailor ; only because the cutters of
his particular establishment are Battersea men, with votes !
In the House Mr. Burns is wonderful. He is rarely at rest. To follow him during a debate in which he is interested is the busiest of optical feats. He flits from bench to bench, conferring with men of all parties (he has a special penchant for chats with Mr. Walter Long!), and when he does sit still it is as though on thorns, in a veritable plantation of papers.
Since he has become a Minister, Mr. Burns has proved himself to possess qualities which might fit him for the Foreign Office itself. His self-control under attack is monumental, hie scorns to reply in the language in which he is attacked from the Labor benches. Suave, and even polished, with a distinct literary flavor of a modern kind, are his speeches. Where Mr. Lloyd George goes to the Scriptures for his similes, Mr. Burns has a mind for Ruskin and Morris and Carlyle. As a traveler, he lias not confined himself to little trips on the Continent. Stern duty carried him, in his engineer days, to the Niger; he has “done” the United States, and most of the European capitals.
ABDUL-HAMID, the Sick Man, is the most mysterious personage of our time. No other has so occupied the imagination of the world, no other has been so feared and so hated, no other has been so much the theme of the contemporary historian. What titanic epithets have been hurled against the unhappy Sultan of Turkey, who has reigned for thirty-three years, throned on the fear of his subjects! Rather tall and exceedingly slender, Abdul-Hamid has the unstudied stoop of the consumptive. His
face is wrinkled parchment, as if a thousand anxieties and suspicions had left their impress there. His features, besides cruelty and cunning, denote intelligence and cowardice. The eyes, of almond shape, by far the most interesting detail of his person, are dark and piercing, aged with eternal suspicion. They denote high intellect, extraordinary intelligence, subtle refinement and pitiless cruelty.
The thin upper lip and the thick, sensual lower, indicate a combination of passion, irascibility and selfishness. His noseis aquiline, and lends to his face the appearance of a bird of prey. The chin, though hidden by a beard, is weak and indecisive.
The voice, however, belies the face. It is marvelously subtle and insinuating, melodious in its modulations, and full of dulcet tones. With this remarkable voice Abdul-Hamid has been able to seduce nearly everybody who has approached him, even his antagonists.—Extract from “The Sultan of Turkey,” by Nicholas C. Adossides, in American Magazine.
MR. VICTOR GRAYSON, the British M.P., who “refused to let the House proceed while he was in it,” and got suspended for his pains, has seen a good deal of life for a
young man of twenty-six. He is a native of Liverpool, where, he says, he has spent “days of wild enchantment along its wonderful line of docks, and in the vicinity of the Sailor’s Home, gazing with thrills of mixed fear and fascination at the weird assemblage of men from every land.” In his early boyhood he had a voracious appetite for “penny bloods,” and ran away to sea as a stowaway at the age of fifteen. After this adventure he tramped through Wales, sleeping in barns, casual wards, and low lodging-houses, and begging his way with a crowd of other tramps. Then he spent six years as an engineers’ apprentice. Abandoning engineering, he studied at Liverpool University and Owens College, Manchester, with a view to the Unitarian Ministry, living meanwhile in slum dwellings at Ancoats. Here he imbibed that knowledge of the poverty and suffering incident to the lives of the poor which converted him to Socialism, which he proceeded to preach in the northern' towns during his weekends. His efforts culminated in the conquest of Colne Valley, and he entered Parliament with a red flag programme embodying the State ownership and control of everything. Mr. Grayson has a pleasant smile, a tremendous voice and great selfconfidence, and he talks fluently and well. It is impossible for a man with such an equipment to emulate Brer Rabbit, and “lay low and say nuffin’.”
JUVENILE PLAYERS are not so much talked about in the press as their grown-up brothers and sisters, but none the less they fill their places in most plays to the satisfaction of thft jniblic, who laugh at their mimicry of older actors and overlook their lack of experience. There is really an army of children on the stage ranging in age from very tender years indeed up to a point when the transition from childhood to maturity is an easy matter. “Baby Esmond,” whose portrait in a characteristic villainesque pose, brightens these pages, is quite a genius. .He claims to be the youngest actor in the world, capable of taking a special part. He has only just reached the age of four years and he actually earns on an average fifty dollars a week.
THE CHOICE of Durban, the chief town of Natal, as the meeting-place for the important convention which is now discussing the closer union of the four South African
Colonies and Rhodesia was a singularly happy one, for, as Mr. Smuts reminded his audience the other day at the banquet in honor of Rear-Admiral Sir Percy Scott, “the first shot between British and Boers was fired at Durban sixty-six years ago, and it was very fitting that the place where the struggle between the English and Dutch began should be the place where complete peace was finally to be made.” For another reason, also, the selection of Durban is to be commended, for the crucial problem facing the convention is Unification versus Federation, and while the other
Colonies were generally in favor of Unification Natal stood apart and declared for Federation. The proceedings of the convention are, of course, strictly private, but the pleasant intercourse which has been taking place between the delegates at Durban is slowly removing all apprehensions on the score of Unification, and on this vital question Natal is gradually falling into line with the other Colonies. Other important issues with which the convention will have to deal are the native franchise, the choice oí a capital, and the questions of language
and the readjustment of the voting basis throughout South Africa. The convention was opened by Sir Matthew Nathan, Governor of Natal, on October 12, and it will probably sit for three months devising a scheme which, in his words, “will unite them in a great nation of white people, maintaining their virility, increasing in numbers, and ruling over a contented native population in the interests of all—a nation so governed that . . . there may be
carried on through the centuries those ideals of honesty, justice, courage and purity which have made great the nations from which the British and Dutch in South Africa have sprung.”
Some of the powers behind the thrones assume quite unexpected guise. Who was the pacificator of Algeria for France? A general ? a courtier? a statesman? None of these. The man who gained the day for French influence was a conjurer—Robert Houdin.
The armies of France might fight as valiantly as armies could, but there always remained a mass of Algerians ready to do battle, because the marabouts, their magic doctors, bade them fight on. So long as their implacable medicine men could show miracles and wonders, so long the Algeri-
ans believed in and obeyed them, the French Government therefore sent Houdin to Algiers, to outdo them at their own game, to display greater miracles than any of which they were capable. Houdin was completely successful, and Algiers gave no more trouble.
There is no Bismarck behind a European throne to-day, though the mysterious manner in which the German Emperor got hold of the story of M. Delcasse’s movements suggests that the Iron Chancellor’s methods survive. He did not invent the system, but he brought it to perfection, of employing a beautiful. woman. Chief of his 'assistants was the handsome, well-born Baroness de Kaula, who obtained such an ascendency over General de Cissey, French Minister of War, that Bismarck had from her daily bulletins of what had taken place in the French Cabinet Council at Veisailles.
It was a woman who led to the degradation of President Grevy. Madame Limousin was here the all-powerful syren. She got into her toils a number of distinguished French officers, who through her became concerned in the scandal over the sale of Legion of Honor decorations, and by their misdoings and disgrace led to the President’s resignation.