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gentleman, and so forth. We have wit- care to be indebted-to Heine's descripnessed Chicago confronted with the tion of London. And the journalistic Christian era and unabashed. But this beginnings of the book necessitated a book is neither the bitter cry of out division of the matter into numerous raged gentility nor polemical piety. It concise sections, each with its effective is a portrait, sympathetically done, as impression. But the impressions are arevery portrait should be, of what is, ranged with remarkable skill—they after all, the most interesting people in broaden steadily. “The Voyage" is enthe world. And it is done with a skil. tertainingly trivial-with its anecdote of ful development of effect, with an in the American who wanted to know sight and a sense of unity, that make it, what the visitor thought of America aloeit nominally a reprint of thirty- while it was still a pale blue line on the three letters to a London halfpenny horizon-and "The Dollar" is a gleam of paper, a single and complete work of the common humorist. And from that art.
we work up towards the fortified mipes Partly its unity is the outcome of acci- of Leadville, a brilliant piece of dedent, though Mr. Stevens has certainly scription, and the dawn after the elecmade an artist's use of the opportunity tion in New York:luck gave him. The problem was to get "Gunpowder flared, bands crashed, New York and Niagara, the Chinaman bugles rang; overhead the late trains and Wisconsin, Chicago and Nevada, puffed and clattered, and above all rang the nigger and the “poor white,” into volleys of cheers and the interminable the picture, and yet to avoid the miscel- discordant blare of tin trumpets, all laneous effect of a pawnbroker's win- blended in a furious angle of jubilation. dow. It has beaten everybody else; it The whole place was mad, demoniac, would probably have beaten Mr. inspired with a divine frenzy. ... And Steevens had it not been for the coin- through the crowd came pushing a man cidence of the most significant of all with matted hair crying the morning presidential elections since Lincoln's. papers.” It was a singularly intimate issue in Of all these descriptive vignettes. I suspense, not so much a discussion as a like least those two that deal chiefly revelation of idiosyncrasy; the perfect with scenery, for people are the texture pose. It turned on the question of cur- of the book. If nature, if the continenrency, it touched the pocket of every tal mass of America is to come in, then man of a people essentially competitive the whole design is wrong. After all, and commercial from Sandy Hook to the entire American civilization, in the Golden Gates; the East talked of the relation to its scenery, is very like a West, and the city of the country; they penny bottle of ink spilt over a half-acre brought their business relations into the lawn. Niagara is redeemed by the streets, they put them on banners, they smoking chimney, but the description plastered them walls, for Mr. of the Colorado cañons is simply irreleSteevens to
But a journalist vance. They took Mr. Steevens in a merely would have seen the election weak place, for being a highly educated and nothing more, would have made his Englishman he was naturally weak in book the election and nothing but the his geography; he did not know that election-America taken for granted, every Board School Reader, every eleeverything of any enduring importance mentary text-book of geology in this taken for granted, a trash of arguments country, reeks with these same cañons. that pass, facts that do not matter and But he drops his modesty; he becomes a figures that do not signify. Mr. Stee- discoverer. “Nobody," he says, “seems vens, on the other hand, makes it to have thought it worth while to adverAmerica, engaged in electing a presi- tise" these pyrochomatic solitudes. dent.
Well-it is pleasant to catch one's abler For his technique he may be indebted contemporaries tripping. And it is only ---as any sane man would probably take a lapse of two pages after all.
The quality that makes this book so license is only for beer; and the mere particularly rich in suggestion, so stim- fact that each husband has a vote no ulating to the imagination, is the acute more makes us Democratic in the face sense of causation that pervades it. A of these vulgarities of selectness than great majority of people seem to see the fact that each husband has two legs things only as things that are: their and a head of hair. Fision of affairs is static. They seem to And in return for the right to step on think that mountains keep always the certain "inferiors" your Englishman is same height, rivers the same length, always ready to be meanly abject to nations the same character. The Amer- certain "superiors.” The tradesman icans to them are a remarkable people, cultivates an abject manner to his cusinfested with Irish, whose cities are tomers, the railway servant has to be painfully uniform, and who spell offen- not civil but “respectful,” and such sively and put your railway check in people as the jobbing workman, the your hatband whether you like it or no. jobbing gardener, in a rural community, To a minority, perhaps a considerable literally crawl through existence touchminority, of people nowadays, however, ing their hats. When we travel there things are seen as things that become- seems an understanding that we are all their vision of things is dramatic. That Ineffable Personages, incognito; if possiway of looking at things may be innate ble we go into a compartment alone to in some cases; in many it is the result of avoid losing caste by contact with our a study of, and comprehension of, the “inferiors,” and we "snub" conversaevolutionary idea. Now Mr. Steevens tional advances and “tip” the guard has the latter quality of mind to a con- beyond our means to keep him in his tagious degree. The reader will be dull place. Of course, when one writes a indeed who does not catch something of book representing a man doing such his fine sense of implication. You find things, every reviewer in the three kingthat the iron-bound trunk at Euston doms calls one's character a snob for Station, the ticket stuck into your hat. doing what everybody does. But that band by a familiar-mannered conductor, is only the refinement of our snobbery. the secret whiskey-bar in a scullery at In America they really have purged Portland, are significant things, straws their minds of much of this sort of perhaps, but showing all the better for thing. The conductor of the train is that the trend of the Democratic idea. the man, your equal, who examines your
Over here we pretend to be Demo- ticket and looks after you while you cratic. But it is the thinnest pretence in travel, and you are the man, his equal, the world. Our country is an aristoc- who travels under his direction. Both racy in decay, an aristocracy with a being sane human beings, you leaky organization, a land of hyphened operate to get the business done with as names, bogus crests and derived man- little bother as possible, and so you ners, where every one is strenuously hand him your ticket and he very putting on Side-roadying, imitating, properly whips your check into your presuming equality with some person hatband so that he can see it at a glance supposed to be "above" him, holding a dozen yards off. Then there is no aloof from or imposing charity or pa- more fuss for either of you. The tronage upon some other person sup- formulæ and gestures of respect exposed to be "below" him. I never met acted by English travellers from railan Englishman so pitiful that he did not way servants are as much resented by find a consolation in being "a little the American conductor as they would superior" to some other Englishman. be over here in a club smoking-room. In this country the wine merchant's So they must be in any genuine Democwife does not call on the ironmonger's racy. wife, and the ironmonger's wife on the Certain other things follow as a matfishmonger's wife, and the fishmonger's ter of straightforward deduction from wife on the publican's wife whose the Democratic theory. There are no
white servants to be got there; there One of the most odious forms of this is never will until the Democracy has a combination amoig great employers rotted. As a consequence Mr. Steevens of labor-railway companies and the is perpetually recurring to the American like-to keep a mutual black list. If a ingenuity in labor-saving appliances working-man offends one of them, in A house over there is built in a mood of time of strike or otherwise, he will get elaborate civility. Over here, any one no employment from any. Men have who will trouble to do a little house changed their names and disguised hunting will find that houses-villa themselves in vain to escape this omniresidences, built thirty or forty years scient and merciless boycott." ... ago, appear brutally indifferent to a ser- That, again, is emphatically not fair. vant's health or comfort. Perilous And such things provoke reprisals. “It steps, sometimes out of doors, lead to is becoming rare now to find a strike in the underground coal cellar; dismal ill- which gunpowder and dynamite are not lit bedrooms for them are poked just the ultimate appeal.” There lies the anywhere; there are steep staircases, danger of the Democratic Idea; the rich narrow, dark subterranean kitchens, an are irresponsible, they are not "supeabsence of water-taps on the upper rior," they have no feeling of noblesse floors, and so forth. These houses recall oulige, and there is no palliative of territhe happy days before the Board schools torial or class loyalty to soften the had turned the girls' heads and made rigors of poverty. ... Is it possible for them difficult to please. And in another the ideas of equality and loyalty to be direction, too, the American differs from operative side by side? That is the us fundamentally, and that is his unsym- problem America must solve to live. pathetic treatment of the poor. Here
H. G. W. we dispense charity. It is part of our social dignity; great ladies require an interesting and cleanly poor just as they require a park and deer. Poor English people stand being done good to in a
From The London Times. most humiliating way; one must have
THE NORTH POLAR PROBLEM.1 been born in the English south country
It has taken centuries to obtain even -Hardy's country-to appreciate the taint. In America the protrusion of
a very general idea of the north polar charitable offices would probably awake region. Three centuries ago Mercator
adopted the theory, which was derived a dangerous resentment; exuberant fashion following European examples
from the mysterious Nicholas of Lynne, must needs avail itself of Irishry and
that four great rivers flowed down a niggers. To the ordinary American the chasm at the Pole. Later there was permanent poor are a nuisance, the unfit Maury's theory of an open polar sea; and the lazy, and he resorts to stimulat. and the most recent opinion that has
prevailed was that the polar sea was ing methods of treatment. The casually poor takes his chance.
shallow, with land, in the form of
To the American poor man the rich are not his
islands, extending north from Franz
Josef Land. Facts could not keep pace providentially appointed almoners, but
with theories, but they have gradually his luckier equals. He plays a game against them, keen but not personally vealed to us the truth. It has long been
and painfully refuted them, and respiteful-the Silverite campaign was
known that a great stream of heavy ice essentially a move in that game. But
flows down the east coast of Greenland. certain things are not fair-he does not
The American side of the polar sea was think that trusts are fair-and then he
gradually discovered to be of a very gets angry. "Certain commercial concerns," says Mr. Steevens, “make fre
different character. Collinson found quent, powerful, and successful combi
1 Address before the Royal Geographical Sonations to override the public interest. ciety at London, by Sir Clements Markham.
that rery heavy ancient ice formed the southward at every opening, owing to pack from Behring Strait to Franklin the polar sea itself being surcharged, Bay, only a narrow lane being kept open but only finds it for the ice it bears on its by the current of the Mackenzie and surface along the east coast of GreenColville rivers, between the land and the land. The warmer water comes to the pack. M'Clure discovered that the surface along the Siberian coast, and, same ancient ice extended along the aided by the outflow of the Siberian whole western shore of Banks Island. rivers and the prevailing winds, forms a Parry met with this ancient ice when he current northwards across the polar attempted to go westward from Melville area. These were the conclusions Island, and it flows down M'Clintock which were derivable from the facts Channel south-east until it impinges on within our knowledge before the departthe coast of King William Island. Sirure of Dr. Nansen. His return, with the George Nares's expedition met with the rich fruits of his expedition, has thrown same ancient ice extending for three new light on the whole question, and, hundred miles along the northern coast as I said on a former occasion, the north of Grant Land and Greenland. Every polar problem begins to take definite indication pointed to the conclusion that shape. Nansen's chief discovery is that there was no land to the northward. there actually is a very deep sea north But the sea was supposed to be shallow, of the Franz Josef group, continuous because there were only seventy-two with that which was known to exist fathoms of water at a distance of forty north of Spitzbergen, and that this deep miles from the shore, and because the sea has a relatively warm temperature positions in which driftwood was found in its depths. He ascertained that the furnished an argument that there had time occupied by the ice in drifting been a general recent upheaval of the across the polar basin on the parallels of adjacent land. We thus find that this ile track of the Fram is a little over line of ancient ice extends from Behring three years, and that the ice-bearing Strait to the north coast of Greenland, ocean extends at least as far as tl'e pole. a distance of twelve hundred miles, for For the Fram's track southwards to that it is continuous across the gap of Spitzbergen leaves a great width tience four hundred miles between Prince Pat- to Greenland, down which a vast volrick Island and Aldrich's farthest is ume of ice drifts, which must necesdeduced from the coincidences of winds, sarily come from a region north of the tiue, and drift. The fact that the heavy track of the Fram. The question reice actually reaches the western part of mains to be decided whether there is tue North American coast seems to in- land of any extent in the vast unknown dicate that there are no intervening region between the Parry Islands and lands, of any extent, to the westward of the New Siberian group. At one time I Prince Patrick Island. The discovery held the opinion that a chain of islands of Franz Josef Land brought to our probably did exist, extending from the knowledge a group of volcanic islands neighborhood of Prince Patrick Island of the same geological period as Spitz- towards Wrangel Island. This opinion bergen, approaching Spitzbergen closely was solely based on considerations con at its western end, and on the same nected with the apparent line of Eskimo bank; in short, a continuation of the migration from Melville Island to Spitzbergen group. There is an east- Greenland, as indicated by a continuous ward drift of the ice on the coast of series of remains. But I now concur Grant Land; and it was assumed that with Dr. Rink that these vestiges are there was a general drift of ice across due to visits from the American contithe polar basin from the eastern to the nent in times past. The presence of the western hemisphere, as well as a drift ancient floes of heavy ice along the north from left to right, due to the flow of shores of the American continent is eviwarmer water into the polar area, dence that no land of any size exists to which, as a cold current, seeks an outlet the northward on the meridians from
Behring Strait to Franklin Bay. In and explicable by the theory of earthfact, I am disposed to regard the whole folds. In reviewing the whole Polar line of heavy ancient ice which presses question it will be seen that great progupon the shores of the American conti- ress had been made towards its solution, nent, of the Parry Islands, and of the in various directions, before the departnorthern side of Greenland as evidence ure of Nansen's expedition, but only of a continuus drift from the eastern to fragmentarily and by side sights, while the western hemisphere, across even the collected facts were often misocean uninterrupted by land of any interpreted and misunderstood. I conmagnitude. The presence of warmer sider that the light thrown upon it by water in the depths of Nansen's polar Nansen has not only extended sea is an important discovery. It com- knowledge positively, but has had the mences one hundred fathoms below the effect of piecing together what appeared surface, and extends down to two hun- before to be fragmentary, and of makdred and fifty fathoms. If this warm ing the detached pieces fit into their current originates in that which flows proper places and form a consistent up from the North Atlantic, Professor whole. There is much, no doubt, that Mohn has observed that its greater needs discussion and a free interchange salinity and consequent greater density of opinions, both on the broad aspects would keep it in the depths when it cools relating to the physical geography, and down, while the water from the great to the special subjects of oceanography, rivers would be much lighter, and con- meteorology, terrestrial magnetism, tinue on the surface. But there are, I biology, and geology, on which I have believe, other opinions respecting the touched very briefly. There is, howorigin and eventual destination of this ever, still much to learn. An expedition warmer undercurrent in the polar ocean, should be sent up Jones Sound to conrespecting the part it plays in the nect the four hundred miles between economy of that ocean, and respecting Prince Patrick Island and Aldrich's the causes of its long retention of some farthest, and to examine the line of of the warmth derived from the equator, ancient ice in that unknown region. Looking back into past ages, we may Another expedition should complete the disceru the evidence of great changes examination of the northern side of in the Polar area, as throughout the Greenland. A third should be equipped earth's surface. The Spitzbergen archi- on Nansen's plan, and sent to carry out pelago, including Franz Josef Land, Nansen's principle, by commencing the seems to be the broken fringe of a con- drift much further to the eastward, and tinent which, in the Jurassic age, was passing over the Pole itself. This clothed with pine forests. At a still would probably occupy four years, but later period there was abundant arbo- it would bring back a further instalrescent vegetation in Grant Land, and it ment of knowledge respecting the is probable that the conditions within depths of the ocean, the currents and the vast area of the Polar ocean were temperatures of the vast unknown area, then very different. From a geological and another series of magnetic observapoint of view there is much food for re- tions. It should also decide the quesflection, based on the knowledge we al- tion of the existence of land between ready possess respecting the North Polar Prince Patrick and Wrangel Islands. region; and much further research is It is true, therefore, that much remains needed, especially with regard to the to be done. Still, we already have a upheaval of the land, which is reported la mass of facts respecting the Polar from so many directions. A geological region, from which scientific deductions point of special moment is the extent to may be drawn, and this has been enwhich the Polar phenomena of an exten- riched and materially increased by the sive land mass in the South, and a deep labors of Nansen and his gallant comocean in the North, are illustrative of panions.