Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut on December 21, 1930 · 66
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut · 66

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Sunday, December 21, 1930
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6 E 'THE HARTFORD DAILY COURANT: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 1930. THE WORLD OF FICTION, FACT AND FANCY BOOK REVIEWS BOOK REVIEWS Book Reviews by Elizabeth N. Case World's Greatest Human After All, Says Biographer Albert Einstein, In Spite of Legend of His Abstraction Is Kindly, Humane and Thoroughly Human Fellow-Mortal, Claims Reiser ALBERT EINSTEIN: A Biographical portral'-Bv Anton Reiser; Albert & Charles Bonl, New York; $2.50. The presence of Professor Einstein in our country at this moment gives Herr Reiser's intimate, sympathetic "biographical portrait" an added interest for the general reader. Professor Einstein theories and discoveries belong to a world so far removed from that of the average citizen, it is so impossible for the everyday man or woman even to approach the rarefied air of pure abstraction which Professor Einstein breatnes so easilv, that it comes with a shock of revelation, and an exceedingly pleasant shock at that, to learn what a kindly, humane, and thoroughly human fellow-mortal the great Professor Einstein actually Is. Professor Einstein sets the seal of official approval on Herr Reiser's work, saying that "The author of this book is one who knows me rather intimately in my endeavor, thoughts, beliefs In bedroom slippers. I have read it to satisfy, in the main, my own curiosity. What interested me was not a desire to know what I am or look like, but rather another's avow al of what I am. I found the facts of the book duly accurate, and its characterization, throughout, as good as might be expected of one who is perforce himself, and who can no more be another than I can." No credit Is given the unnamed translator of Herr Reiser's memoir, but It is plain that he has done an earnest, consclent'ous job. The English of this translation is somewhat colorless and wooden, and the reader is never unaware that it is a translation, but it Impresses one as being rery honest and accura'e, as convev-inx as absolutely as possible the writer's intention, even though the English version lack the spontaneous ease which we may assume distinguished the orirlnat German. Herr Reiser pre-serr.. as his title indicates, a bio-irranhical portrait rather than a detailed technical study, of Professor Enste'n. his special work for science is. of course, described, but It is the resarkaK personality of the man bissself which creates the dynamic interest of the book. An intenre love of rr.usi: was inborn in Prolessor Ein-re'.n. the man who was Introduced to his ard'ence by Lord Haldane as -the Kewt-w ettne twentieth century, a rraa who has called forth a greater ; R eviews ROMANTIC CZECHOSLOVAKIA By Robert Medill McBride; Elus-trated with drawings by Edward C. Caswell: Robert ML McBride & Co.. Nsw Tork; $5. Here Mr. McBride follows up his earlier volumes, made up of the romantic gossip of travel, in which he led his readers through Brittany, Sweden and Norway, Spain, and modem Germany with a ramble through Czechoslovakia. The book is altogether fascinating, and Mr. Caswell's drawings from the perfect compliment for Mr. McBride's delightful text. GREATEST THOUGHTS ON IMMORTALITY: Compiled from Personal Letters to the Author and .. from Various Other Sources By Jacob Helder, A. M.. Ph. D., Formerly Professor of Philosophy and the German Language and Literature in Mount Union-Sclo Col'.ege, etc., etc, Richard R. Smith Inc., New York; $2. A noteworthy compilation, interesting alike to the believer, the unbeliever, and those who are in doubt. Professor Helder's selections are taken from the personal letters and the published works of members of the Catholic and Protestant clergy, from Jewish theologians, and from laymen in many walks of life, and of every phase of belief and unbelief. A highly suggestive and significant book. THE ADVENTURES OP TOM SAWYER By Mark Twain; Illustrations by Donald McKay; Random House; New York; $20; Boxed. A boxed, limited edition, selling for twenty' dollars, printed on a special paper, and taking two years to produce, will stme some readers as an inappropriate setting for Mark Twain's homespun chronicle of a thoroughly homespun American boy. Random House, however, caters especially for those patrons of literature who like their books exclusive and expensive, and the present reprint of "Tom Sawyer" is likely to be warmly welcomed. Much painstaking care has been bestowed upon the illustra-tons, the artist, Mr. McKay, having spent "several weeks" in Hannibal, Missouri, for the purpofe of gaining authentic local color for his drawings. Institute of Social and Religious Re-rearch: PROTESTANT COOPERATION IN AMERICAN CITIES By Paul H. Douglas; Institute of Social and Religious Research, New York; $3.50. Te Institute of Social and Religious Research, which is responsible for this book, was organized ten years ago "as an Independent agency to apply scientific method to the study of so-c:o-rel:glous phenomena." The present able and exceed ini?!ir cnmnrevin sive study of the Church Federation Movement has been very carefully prewired bv Dr. Douelars. and forme n invaluable reference book, not only lor professed students, but for all persons interested in the social and reiigigus pro Hi ems oi me aay. Scientist Only 0 revolution of thought than even Co- nurniRiiM fiaiiieo. or Newwn nimseu. Einstein's greatest love, writes Herr Reiser, "is music, especia-iy chi i music Here Drofundity and signl flcance of experience Is joined with beautiful form, ana sucn a umuu, w Einstein, means the greatest human blessing." Professor Einstein is himself an ardent amateur of the violin, and a gifted improvlsor on the piano. Also he loves great literature, noctrv. and drama: in his eyes Shakespeare is the greatest figure in the literature of the world. Born in Ulm, Albert Einstein grew uo in the ancient south German city Af Munich, where his father conduct ed an electrical business. The family was in comfortable circumstances, but business troubles overtook the elder Einstein, and the family, having rel-latlves in northern Italy, removed to Milan, leaving the young Albert, then a bov of fifteen, to complete his schooling in Munich. Later young Einstein joined his family in Milan, and found the whole Italian atmosphere most sympathetic and delightful. Already the young Albert Einstein's amazing proficiency in pure mathematics was making its impression; in other studies he was not notable, he was a poor linguist, and found exact memorizing difficult. While still a very young man Einstein settled for a time in Switzerland, becoming, while at Zurich, a Swiss citizen; for some time he held a post In the Confederate Patent Office t TVrn. Workine consantly to- word his ultimate triumph, Einstein began to lecture on theoretical physics: he held professorships at Zu rich and later at trague. dut; ic was nnt until 1914 that he assumed his treat position at the University of Berlin which he stui noids. Herr Reiser's book is. in essence, a tribute to the personality of Professor Wn.tin a. man ahsolutelv Without self-seeking, modest, a dreamer who has lived to see the realization of a segment of his mighty dream, a peace-loving quiet scholar. Humility writes Herr Reiser "Ls Einstein's re ligion." To the generality of American readers the personality of Professor Einstein seems as abstract and distant a his tremendous scien'ific the ories, and it is to just such readers that this book is addressed. Herr Reiser deserves a vote of thanks for hrlntrinir n our familiar acquaintance tne mencuy. Kincuy. lory spini 01 a great contemporary. Brief in THE BOOK OF SIMON By A. S. M. Hutchinson; With Illustrations by A. H. Watson; Little Brown & Co, Boston: $2. Mr. A. S. M. Hutchinson, author of the prize best-seller of yester-year, "If Winter Comes," here follows the trail blazed by Mr. A. A. Milne in the popular "Christopher Robin" books, Simon being Mr. Hutchinson's little son, whose "astounding" Infant ways are described by his fond father in a manner which is certain to delight a vast company of readers. Mr. Watxm's drawings are very clever, and add greatly to the appeal of the book. EVERYBODY'S BOS WELL: Being the Life of Samuel Johnson abridged from James Boswell's complete text Edited by F. V. Morley; Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard; Harcourt Brace & Co, New York; $3.50. Those many readers who enjoy abridgments of standard works will find that, in "Everybody's Boswell" Mr. Morley has done an excellent piece of work, the "Life" of Dr. Johnson, and the "Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides," is here boiled down and concentrated in a single volume, with many attractive, graphic drawings by Mr. E. H. Shepard, whose illustrations for "Everybody's Pepys" were so much admired. THE SALOON IN THE HOME or A GARLAND OF RUMBLOSSOMS Compiled by Ridgely Hunt and George S. Chappell; With Many Lavish Engravings by John Held Jr.; Coward-McCann, Inc., New York; $2. Mr. Held's inspired drawings give this book value. The text, which is made UD Of authentic pvcprnt.c from the "temperance" literature of the pasi ana present, interspersed with recipes for alluring mixed drinks, is supposedly verv funnv. but it I a dreary kind of fun. New Books Received "A Vagabond in Barbary," by Harry L. Foster; Dodd, Mead and Company, New York. "Slane's Long Shots," by E. Phil-Hps OrJDenheim: Little. Brown and Company, Boston; $2. "The Poems of Emily Dickinson;" Little, Brown and Company, Br.ton; $4. "The Saloon in the Home," compiled by Ridgely Hunt and George S. Chappell; Coward -McC arm, Inc., New York; $2. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," by Mark Twain; Random House, New York; $20. "The Book of Simon," by A. S. M. Hutchinson; Little Brown and Comp-any. Boston; $2. "This Thing Called Broadcasting," by Alfred N. Goldsmith and Austin C. Lescarboura; Henry Holt 1 Company, New York; $3.50. "Flights from Chaos," by Harlow Shapley; McGraw-Hill Book C-mp-'any, New York; $2.50. Nancy B. Turner's Life of Mary Ball THE MOTHER OF WASHINGTON By Nancy Byrd Turner; in Collaboration with Sidney Gunn; Edwin Valentine Mitchell, Hartford; Dodd Mead & Co., New York; $3.50. We are all prone; and very naturally so, to think of Nancy Byrd Turner as a poet which, primarily, she most certainly is but here in her gracious memoir of "The Mother of Washington," written in collaboration with Mr, Sidney Gunn, Miss Turner offers another proof of the fact that the prose of professed poets is apt to be a prose of peculiar and distinguished beauty. For t further proof we may fall back on Milton Keats, John Masefield and Walter de ia Mare, beside many more of vary tag degrees of fame. Mary Ball, mother of George Washington, is by no means so familiar a figure as her world-renowned sen, but she is a peculiarly appealing heroine for a Virginia woman to present to her readers, and Miss Turner's a born and bred Virginian of the true English stock, and in whose family are still treasured letters bearing on "the activities of the Washlngtons," has made a delicious thing of her record of this small, intrepid woman who lived to see her. son first Presi dent of the newly emergent nation the United States of America. Miss Turner closes her book with a characteristic anecdote of Mrs. Washing ton, s One day, during his first sojourn in America, the young Marquis de Lafayette made a special Journey to Fredericksburg.-expressly to pay his respects to the mother of Washington. It was Mrs. Washington's little grand-ton, Robert Lewis of Kenmore, who showed Lafayette the way to her cottage and he, as well as Lafayette himself told the story afterward. Mrs. Washington, in a rough dark dress, and garden hat, was in her backyard raking up autumn leaves: "There, sir" said young Robert Lewis "Is my grandmother." "It would," writes Mies Turner "have been easy enough to run ahead with word that the illus trious guest was coming, and Robert Lewis should have been ashamed of himself for his informality. But perhaps, with the wisdom of the very young, he knew that he could count on his grandmother . . . .Straightening up stiffly and shifting the hoe to her left hand, the extended the other and received with perfect grace the French aristocrat's kiss on her fingers. Then she led the way into the house for gingerbread and mint julep. 'You see an old woman, Marquis de Lafayette,' she said, a3 she moved up the worn walk edged with box. 'but I can give welcome without the parade of changing my dress.' " Neither direct quotation nor running commentary can avail much in conveying an idea of the charm of Miss Turner's "The Mother of Washington," it is a book to read, a bok to be savored, relished, and enjoyed at an easy leisure, in its every word. Here is a picture of eighteenth-century. Virginia which is instinct with vitality, a picture in which the very soul of Thackeray would have rejoiced. The book in its entirety is something far more than a vivid portrait of Maiy Ball Washington, the woman who "raised four soldiers for the Revolutionary army, including its commander-in-chief" it is an intimate detailed picture of a whole close-knit community, a community which was one of the most distinguished and important factors in the evolution of our American civilization. The very names, family and place names, in this chronicle, are rich net only in beauty but in historic suggestion Rosewell, Westover, Brandon, Dandridge of Elsing Green, the Fitzhughs of Marmion Westmorelanda name all haunting music Isham of Dungeness glorious echces of the old-world background of Virginia. The illustrations to "The Mother of Washington" are not numerous, but are of striking interest, and the volume itself, in the austere dignity if its simple binding, is in perfect accord with Miss Turner's beautifully understanding study. Three Modern Plays French's Standard Library Edition: j The DONOVAN AFFAIR: A Play J in Three Acts By Owen Davis; HOW'S YOUR HEALTH?: A Comedy in Three Acts By N. Booth Tar-klngton and Harry Leon Wilson; HOUSE AFIRE: A Comedy in Three Acts By Mann Page; Each 75c.; Samuel French, Inc., New York; Samuel French, Ltd, London. Three issues in French's Standard Library Edition of modern plays, which is indispensable to the student of the comtemporary theater. Mr. Davis's strong detective drama, "The Donovan Affair," was first produced on Broadway in 1926 with an excellent cast of 6easoned players, and was later put. on at the Duke of York's Theater in London, with an English cast. "How's Your Health?", ov that experienced pair, Messrs. Tarklngton and Wilson, is mildly amusing, and was staged In New. York with a cast which included Mr. Donald Bryan. Mr. Page's slight comedy, "House Afire," was 6een in -New York last spring. EXPERIMENTAL CHEMISTRY: Being a Series of Simple and Spectacular Experiments in Chemistry Together With Some Home-Made Chemical Apparatus By A. Frederick Collins, F. R. A. S, Illustrated by the Author: D. Appleton & Co, New York and London; $2. The latest of Mr. Collins's invaluable houshold handboks of popular science, lavishly illustrated with explanatory diagrams and drawings by the author. (Courtesy Anderson Galleries) "THE ROAD WINTER" This is a Currier & Ives print, copyrighted in 1855. The gentleman driving ihc sleigh is Nathaniel Currier. Russell Crouse has recently Written a delightful biography, published by Doubleday, Doran cr Co., ana entitled "Mr. Currier and Air. Ives," which tells of these two wen and the people of their lime who Were so infatuated with the gentlemen's prints. p,mhm Bucr, jPhelp y F Mohammed has a- birthday and Ihis followers celebrate it, I do not know when it comes; if Buddha's natal day is a holiday, I have not heard of it; the Fourth of July is not celebrated in Sweden; the Fourteenth of July is not celebrated in Germany; Lincoln's birthday is not a national holiday in China; and the Japanese, although a very intelligent people, pay no particular reverence to the 22nd day of February. But Christmas is the one almost universal day of days.. There are plenty of people in Iceland who remember it, also in Terra del Fuego, in Tahiti and Timbuctoo. Nineteen hundred and thirty years have passed since the birth of Christ, and the star in the Ea t is still in its dawn. There are Americans in distant corners of the earth Americans so absorbed in their occupations that doubtless they sometimes forget the birthdays of members of their family, and the birthday of their country; but it Is difficult to imagine any American or European forgetting Christmas. All scientific discoveries and in ventions, all political and economic changes in the so-called history of civilization, all stepping-stones in the advance to man toward freedom, such as the Declaration of American In dependence and the French Revolution, pale into significance compared with Christmas, And even open and avowed atheists, when they sit down to write against Christianity, are obliged to date their articles from its birth. How is it possible that so uni versal and so tremendous a result should have flowed from what so many historians regard as an insignificant cause? In this instance, the mighty river has not only risen enor mously higher than its daily climbing; and widening and deepening as it climbs. The fact that at a certain period of history a baby was born in a despised Roman province, born of quite unimportant people and in so unimportant a place as a manger; that only a very small group noticed that he had been born at all; that he lived in utter obscurity until he was thirty; that his "career" lasted only about two years; that all his recorded words can be read In three hours: that these ' few words had a more profound and lasting effect on the world than that of all the poets and philosophers and scientists put together; this is worth consideration. He Came At Right Moment. So far as our knowledge of his tory goes, he could not have come at a better time. It was Indeed the psychological moment. The Greek and Roman religions were played out, and many of the best and most intelligent men were sceptics, as they should be when religion is not a vital force. Into this weary and disillusioned world, Jesus Christ was born in Pal estine. From the birth of this child sprang the most mighty and elevating influences in thought and in life. Some religions seem to flourish only in cer tain climates and among certain nations. But the words of Jesus apply equally well to all the races of men and to all parts of the round earth. They are Just as fruitful In the tropics as in the regions of the pole; just as fruitful for Malays as for Canadians; they are perfectly adapted to the understanding of a little child, and while certain-men have rejected them, no one has ever outgrown them. Thej constitute the finest literature the world has ever seen, being superior to the best productions of Shakespeare, Hcmer, Dante and Goethe. They are the delight of the humblest homes, and the joy of the most advanced and cultivated minds. Among all the fortunate events of history, such as the invention of tteam-transpqrtatlon and electric power, among all the benefits which have been a blessing to mankind, no invention can compare in beneficent influence with the birth of Christ Christmas has become the favorite holiday of the world because it deserves to be; it has survived and Increased in vitality because of the supreme excellence of Him in whose honor it is named. All Art Looks to Christmas. Furthermore, besides the influence in good living, good thinking and happiness that has flowed from the first Christmas, its germinal power in painting, architecture, poetry and music infinitely surpasses that of any other event in history. The supreme masterpieces of Raphael and his con- -s P temporaries arew mrir uispu auuu . rtl , i . ...Uli ! . . .. i ; I njm nrisimas; me suuuuie isuie-cirals of Europe all date from December 25; the great poets of the world have never found a more inspiring theme; and the two giant leaders of al! modern music, Bach and Handel, have express the Bible story in immortal melodies Nearly all the men and women we meet look back on Christmas Day as the happiest of all days in their childhood. I am sorry for any one who cannot remember a succession of happy Christmases. All children should receive special attention on that occasion; and perhaps if older people would remember mxe vividly what Christmas used to mean to them, they would take even more pains to add to the happiness of children now on Christmas Day. There is no better investment than money spent for children. Even the oldest, gravest, most melancholy men feel their hearts grow warm on Christmas Eve. The charming old story that the cattle in the manger were kneeling in the presence of the Divine Child made a special appeal to Thomas Hardy. Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock. "Now they are all on their knees," An elder said as we sat in a flock By the embers in hearthside ease. We pictured the meek mild creatures where They dwelt in their strawy pen, Nor did it occur to one of thus there To doubt they were kneeling then. So fair a fancy few would weave In these years! Yet I feel, If some one said on Christmas Eve, "Come; see the oxen kneel. "In the lonely barton by yonder coomb . Our childhood used to know," I should go with him in the gloom, Hoping it might be so. Latin Grammar - Becomes Comic THE COMIC LATIN GRAMMAR: A New and Facetious Introduction to the Latin Tongue; Edited by Cedric Ellsworth Smith; Edwin Valentine Mitchell, Hartford; Dodd, Mead & Co, New York; $2.50. "The Comic Latin Grammar," as we learn from Mr. Cedric Smith's Foreword, is the work of two famous contributors to Punch; Percival' Leigh, who, born in 1813, survived until 1889, wrote the text, while the pictures were by the celebrated black-and-white artist, John Leech. Though four years younger than his collaborator, Perclval Leigh, John Leech, who died in 1864, belonging distinc- j tlvely in the early Victorian tradition ' and his drawings form a revealing gallery of many varying grades and j types of early Victorian English so- j clety. "The Comic Latin Grammar," which first appeared in 1840, was originally intended to be a booklet of only a few pages, but it grew in size as the friends worked upon it, and, upon its publication, proved so successful, that author and artist followed it up with "The Comic English Grammar," and when, in the ensuing year. Punch was launched upon its triumphant career, Leigh and Leech became important contributors to its pages. The present reprint of "The Comic Latin Grammar," published by Edwin Mitchell, with a delightful sympathetic Introduction by Mr. Smith of the Lewis. Street bookshop, is made from the first edition, with the obvious errors corrected. "There has been no attempt" writes Mr. Smith "to alter anything in the book except the obscurity which resulted in the first edition from poor printing and bad paper." I "The Comic Latin Grammar" is a Joy to the La tints t and the non-Latlnist alike; Its humor is rich full-bodied and racy. The characteristic offspring of the age which gave it birth the age of "Pickwick," the Surtees novels, and the robust Jesting of Mark Lemon and Douglas Jerrold it holds its own with its comrades, and reappears in this attractive reprint nearly a century after its first appearance, filled with sound, solid, rewarding entertainment for the intelligently appreciative readers of our day; and such readers will thank Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Smith for bringing the book to their notice. Six New Volumes Of Minor Verse A MAN OF EARTH (Being the Phi Beta Kappa Poem Presented at Tufts College in May, 1930) By David Morton; Published by The Poetry Society of Amherst College Amherst, Mass; $2. WISHING ON A COMET: And Collected Poems By Louise Burton Laidlaw; Dodd Mead and Co, New York; $2.; CHISELED IN AIR Poems by Catherine M. Bresnan; Literary Publications, New York $2.; SET TO MY HAND: And Other Poems By Ruth Irving Conner; LIFE'S GARDEN By Beatrice Pist Candler; The Mosher Press, Portland Maine; $2.; NOT CREATURES BUT CREATIONS Ey Dorothy R Byard; Fowler Wright, London. Six-slender volumes of minor verse,' each one rising above the mediocre, and each asserting a definite individuality. Mr. Morton's Tufia College Phi Beta Kappa Poem, "A Man of Earth," Is marked by a pacing dignity of rhythm, and is patterned in the form of an antiphonal dialogue between The Man, and the Listener; it' is a thoughtful poem, conveying a sense of close communion with nature as witness these lines from the closing; utterance of The Man: "Here a grave hush of wonder that I know, And others will give hail not I, not I! O, find these words I leave you as I go, You. happy eyes, you, yellow, shining hill, And golden moons that wander, golden still." Miss Louise Laidlaw has become a favorite with many poetry lovers, through her verse which has appeared in various anthologies, poetry magazines, and in the daily press. In "Wishing on a Comet" Miss Laidlaw's swift, haunting gift of melody i: brought to a focus, so to speak, and the verse gains through presentation in the mass. Miss Catherine "Bresnan's verse is known and loved by many readers el The Bookman, The Catholic World, and other magazines; a delicate fancy, an and authentic lyric gift distinguish Miss Bresnan's poem, in which the note of devotion is often sour.led. As a characteristic example of Miss Bresnan's verse, there follows the three stanza lyric entitled: GIVING. I give my heart a thousand times, I gave it for a smile; The merry sun beamed on me then A long, long while. I give my heart for little things, I gave it for a song, And music of the birds was mine A whole day long. I give my heart, I hold it out For any one to take. I shall not ever keep my heart Lest It might break. Mrs. Ruth Irving Conner has collected in a slim pamphlet entitled. "Set to My Hand, and Other Poems," the verse, which, appearing in various magazines, and in the daily press, has gained for her so many sincere admirers. There is a tremulous tenderness, and a sense of exaltation, in certain poems by Mrs. Conner, which suggest the spirit of Anna Hempstead Branch, and there could scarcely be higher praise. The two stanza poem here quoted from "Set to My Hand," may serve to give the reader a hint of Mrs. Conner's quality: STEALTH. An evil occupies my house, That never knew the like before! I cannot think how it attained! It puzzles me the more and more! I never, never venture out, Or let the curious inside. , I even bade my eyelids droop The day I set my window wide. Miss Candler's sheaf of verse. "Life's Garden," is privately printed at the Mosher Press of Portland, Maine. There is a curious reminiscent quality in Miss Candler's verse which suggests the era of "The Keepsake," and other Annuals, and Books of Beauty, with their finely stippled steel plates, their languishing, guitar-playing swains, and their lovely damsels with mouths smaller than their eyes. These fragile poems have the faded appeal of pressed flowers. The sharply arresting poems cf Miss Dorothy Byard, collected under the title of the opening poem of the volume, "Not Creatures but Creations," are published in England by that brilliant writer of erratic versatility, Mr. Fowler Wright. These lyrics of wayward moods are curiously stirring,, they exert a magnetic appeal over a reader tuned to their strange harmonies, their clashing dls. cords. Possibly some idea of this ap-' peal may be caught from the single brief poem from "Not Creatures but Creations," which follows: SIMPLE ARITHMETIC. Here is the bridge hanging over the blue And that makes one; and here am I Alone on the bridge, and that makes two. And the greening gleam in the paling sky Makes three, a good number; but when all's toM, The bridge and the creek and the warm moonlight All bloom In one flower, all flow In one mould, And they and I make one tonight. A VAGABOND IN BARBARY By Harry L. Foster; Illustrated; Dodd Mead & Co., New York; $3. In "A Vagabond In Barbary" Mr. Foster, the popular companion and guide of many an arm-chair traveller, conducts his reader through the picturesque land of French North Africa. This is one of the most friendly and entertaining travel books of the season. Latest Biographies of Webster Satisfy Tastes of All Readers Claude Fuess Says "We Owe Very Existence of Union To the Glowing Words of This Great Orator" Adams Deals in Websterian Legend DANIEL WEBSTER -By Claude Moore ruess; with Illustrations; Little Brown and Co, Boston; Two Vols. Boxed; $10. THE GODLIKE DANIEL By Sam uel Hopkins Adams; Sears Publishing Co, Inc., New York; $5. Biographies in both the classic and the "new" manner, of noted figures of the past, seem to come in batches nowadays; last season saw a recrudescence of John Wesley, and now, like the vision of an armed head avoked by the witches in "Macbeth," emerges from the mists the solemn ghost of Daniel Webster. Mr. Claude Fuess, whose carefully elaborated, richly detailed life of Webster fills two large volumes, and is a strikingly efficient piece of work, does not affect the "new" style in biography; but, as may be foreseen from his title, Mr. Samuel Hopkins Adams, in his briefer study, "The Godlike Daniel," gives us something in the Straohey-Guedalla tradition, very lively and extremely effective. It may be emphatically stated that thtse two sharply contrasted studies of Webster will richly repay reading in conjunction; each complements the crner, and they are better taken together, than is either taken by itself. As is, of course, inevitable in any such work as that of Mr. Fuess, his "Daniel Webster" is not the isolated portrait of a single figure, but Is essentially a lavishly detailed historic study of the time, with the "grandi ose and refulgent" figure of Webster to quote from Mr. Adams's "The Godlike Daniel," at its center. The same comment holds also for Mr. Adams's own dramatically concentrated memoir, both books show their hero against an animated and stormy background of political history, and of curious social contrasts, during one of the most formative and important periods in the political and social evolution of the United States. Mr. Fuess opens his biography with the picturesque incident of the youthful Daniel Webster, when an eight-ycars-old boy, buying a fancy cotton handkerchief at the village general store, and finding printed upon it the text of the then recently ratified Federal Constitution. Young Webster sat down under an elm tree, and read it through. More than sixty years later Mr. Webster stated that from that reading he first learned that there was a Constitution, or that there were thirteen states. The personality of Daniel Webster is one of the most contradictory and his career one of the most interesting, In all our history. Contemporary accounts of him, rnd contemporary Judgments on his actual achievement, differ even more sharply than is the case with most nu-n conspicuous in the public eye. It was in 1842, during his first visit to tlie United States, that Charles Dickens wrote to his close friend and future biographer, John Forster "You remember what Webster was, in The New Oppenheim SLANE'S LONG SHOTS By E. Phillips Oppenheim; Little, Brown & Co, Boston; $2. This volume has its outer wrapper banded by a- removable scarlet strip, declaring it to be "The New Oppenheim" a certificate which may hold at least through this present year, 1930. "Slane's Long Shots" is not a novel, but a "book-length series of stories," all concerned with the activities of the same leading character, Sir Jasper Slane, the noted amateur oetective; a type of book at which Mr. Oppenheim is, as his admiring readers know full well, an extra-adept. Ten tales of varying degrees of artistic excellence make up the present series of Sir Jasper's "long shots." The opening story, "Who Killed Mon tague Brest?" Is mere routine work, the sort of thing that a practiced crtftsman like Mr. Oppenheim can The Life and Art of D wight William Tryon By HENRY C WHITE This biography covers an important period in the history of art is this country and thro'ws entertaining sidelights upon the lives of some of our most noted painters. With Abbott H. Thayer, Thomas W. Dewing, George de Forest Brush, and others, Tryon studied in Paris in the seventies and, with them, brought back and carried on the best traditions of French art. Mr. White's anecdotes of Tryon's artist friends and his associations with Mark Twain enliven the book. Illustrated, small quarto, $7.50 WITKOWER'S : Lending Library Greeting Cards Booksellers Stationeers Tel. 2-1546, 2,7649 77-79 Asylum St., Hartford OKngland '. If vou could but see him here! if you could only have seen him wnen ne caned upon us the other day feigning abstraction in the dreadful pressure of affairs of state; rubbing his forehead as one who was a-weary of the world; and exhibiting a sublime caricature of Lord Burleigh, He is the only thoroughly unreal man I have seen on this side the ocean. Every one, of course, was Impressed by this theatrical quality In the personality of Mr. Webster, but the character, of this impression varied with the individuality of the observer. Dickens found Webster "unreal," to certain others he appeared as, literally "godlike." The darkling mystery, the smouldering gloom of his remarkable eyes, and a something of portent In his whole appearance, have crystallized Into a tradition and unquestionably have decisively influenced the Websterian legend. It is as a great trial lawyer, as an absolute master of the old-time style of forensic oratory, that we gain our pleasantest. and our most rewardingly enduring Impression of Webster. In the closing sentences of his book Mr. Fuess notes that "it was Webster's doctrine from the lips of Abraham Lincoln, which animated the North and made its victory inevitable. It is not hyperbole to say that we owe the ry existence of our Union to the glowing words of Daniel Webster." Perhaps, this is the highest tribute that can be paid the memory of this strange man, whose career embodied a series of abrupt triumphs and rending disappointments In his closing chapters, The Real Man, Mr. Fuess reminds 'lis of Rufus Choate's comparison a very extraordinary one it will appear to many readers of Webster with Sir Walter Scott. It is true, of course, that both Mr. Webster and Sir Walter were ambitious to found a family which should inherit a landed estate, but beyond this point the comparison seems extremely farfetched. Mr. Fuess's biography is likely to stand hereafter as the accepted, the classic biography of Daniel Webster; Mr Fuess has brought to the task a manifest enthusiasm and a fine and uatient industry; his style is easy, fluent and admirably fitted to bring out the picturesque possibilities of his central figure, and of its vast tapestried background. Mr. Adams's "The Godlike Daniel" will bring Webster, a vital, breathing creature, into the consciousness of a host of readers to whom at present he is only a name, a name carrying with it a vague suggestion of something stately and formidable, wearing an old-time top hat. And the reading of Mr. Adams's modernistic sketch, with Its references to Rudy Vallee, end other popular Idols of the hour, will, it is to be hoped, spur on a fair percentage ofhose who peruse its pages, to venturing into the wider field opened to them by Mr. Fuess, in his fine book with the unadorned title, "Daniel Webster." turn out in his sleep. The next tale, "The Little Marquis," Is much better, a vivid bit, with a whimsically endearing grotesque as its hero. "Mari-ote's Hour of Agony" offers some first-rate melodrama and a fine character sketch in the figure of the actual murderer. In "The Thirteenth Card," and "The Man Without a Tie," Mr. Oppenheim works in his familiar themes of political intrigue, and smart society criminals, both are Cood stories. ,The sixth tale, "Neap-Tide Madness," Is the high spot of the collection, a powerful, tragic story, in a setting of the Norfolk marsh coun-t'.y; this tale Is a fine example of Mr. Oppenheim as an authentic literary artist. "Not Slane's Star Turn," and "Gentleman Bill" are clever crook sketches, Mr. Edgar Wallace's material deitly handled by Mr. Oppenheim; and, in the last two stories, "The Troublesome Kingdom of Selm," and "The Golden Bird of Mallory," Mr. Oppenheim assnes the romantic touch, with picturesque success. Altogether, "Slane's Long Shots" offers thoroughly satisfactory entertainment for a fireside evening. V Ml I

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