Saturday, October 22, 2011

King Leopold II of Belgium

By E. Alexander Powell.

"THE best business man and the keenest financier in Europe. He should have been a Yankee!"

Such was the characterization of King Leopold II recently given me by a diplo­mat stationed in Brussels legations. And his Belgian majesty unquestionably de­serves the description. Belgium has profited largely by his business acumen. No sovereign in Europe has shown so keen an interest in the welfare, comfort, and happiness of his people, or demon­strated it in so practical a manner.

The less said of King Leopold's family relations the better. To say the least, they have been unfortunate, though his troubles have been exaggerated by an unfriendly press. As a ruler, however, he is ideal. "Merely a figurehead," the term commonly applied to most of the European monarchs, is not applicable in his case. He cares as little for prejudiced opposition as a Theodore Roosevelt. He takes as deep and as practical an interest in haute finance as a Pierpont Morgan. He forms his plans and carries them through as determinedly, as unflinchingly, as a Rockefeller.

King's Kava Ceremony American Samoa Island of Tau Manua Group

By Elizabeth T. Jayne.

Kava is the native drink of the Samoan, and is made from the root of the Piper methysticum mixed with water. During my stay in Samoa I had kava served to me many times. The most interesting of these ceremonies, for it is never served without some cere­mony, was the serving of King's kava at the Island of Tau, Manua Group. This native drink is perfectly harmless and has no ill effects whatsoever upon either the native or the foreigner. It has often been stated that tea uses paralysis, but I have made careful inquiry about this among the natives themselves and others who are au­thorities upon Samoan affairs, and they all tell me that it is a mis­take. Certainly no one, after seeing the way the old men and women, who are habitual kava drinkers, jump into the surf and swim, or walk miles over rough mountains densely covered with heavy tropical growth, could for a mo­ment doubt t hat they have good use of their limbs. It is the exception to find an aged person in Samoa who is inactive. The taste for kava must be cultivated, however, for, tho refreshing, it has a strong turpentine flavor, that makes it far from palatable.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens

By Mary H. Bothwell Horgan.

The words  "relative values" have a specific meaning not widely understood outside of the artist's world, but they also have a general mean­ing that the public might be expected to apply to such an incident as the removal of a couple of trees from the vicinity of the Sherman monument by Augustus St. Gaudens, unveiled on Memorial Day at the Plaza entrance to Central Park. Someone once recalled to a young man desirous of hurrying his education un­duly that when nature wished to make a cabbage she took a few months; when she wished to make an oak she needed a hundred years. The relative value of the trees sacrificed to the statue is about that of the cabbage to the oak in this case. In two thousand years the world has had myriads of noble trees and how many truly great equestrian statues? In our periodic returnings to nature let us not forget that sentimentality is not ap­preciative; that "nature is great and her science marvelous; but it is man who knows it." The tree represents a type form evolved to a comparatively stable perfection long ago, while the statue rep­resents in the highest way the possibili­ties of the development forever of that creative ability having at its basis the very same faculty of appreciation that prompts those who cry out at the destruc­tion of the trees. Art taught us our love of trees. That we should immoderately worship them is to be deprecated when it interferes with the perfect enjoyment of such a momentous happening as the completion and erection of this work of the greatest sculptor whom we can call American.

Mrs. Robert Lansing

Mrs. Lansing is a daugh­ter of the Hon. John W. Foster, himself Secretary of State in Presi­dent Harrison's administration. The Secretary and Mrs. Lansing celebrated their silver wedding last January. The following character­ization of Mrs. Lansing also comes to us from the same source as the excellent sketch of the very competent Secretary:

Since childhood Mrs. Lansing has breathed the atmosphere of diplomacy. She accompanied her father on his diplomatic mis­sions both to Mexico and to Eu­rope. She speaks French, the language of diplomacy, as only those do who learned it in their youth, and she speaks the Spanish, not only of Mexico, but of Madrid. It is difficult to overesti­mate the services which a lady of Mrs. Lansing's training and expe­rience can render to her husband in the performance of the social duties; which are only less impor­tant and even more exacting than those of a Government official. The easy grace, the charm of man­ner, and. the more than fair share of good looks, which are noticeable in Mr. Lansing, are even more marked and more noticeable in Mrs. Lansing.

Originally published in the Review of Review Magazines.  August 1915.

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Shadow Pantomime Forerunner of the Movies Lemercier De Neuville Caran d'Ache

By Brander Matthews.

A clever woman, recently desiring to express her acute disgust at the in­consistencies of our latter-day civiliza­tion, spoke contemptuously of "this so called twentieth century of ours." And per­haps we are justi­fied in the infer­ence that she did not think that this century was very much better than any other century. Now, we must admit that the world did not turn over a new leaf with the end of the year 1900 and that the seasons still fol­low each other with monotonous regu­larity. Yet there are improvements here and there to be noted by the observant; and the more observant we are, the more likely are we to discover that many of the things we proudly vaunt as new are closely akin to other things familiar to our fore­bears. In fact, it is one of the character­istics of this so-called twentieth century to seize on an old device and to utilize it afresh in a most unexpected manner.

Perfume Making in Grasse France French Riviera

By Jane Rosamond White.

The "azure side of the Mediterranean," as the French term the Riviera, ought to satisfy the restless desires of even the most world weary of tourists. There is the very perfection of climate, the wonderful coloring of earth and sky and sea, and for those who are not, satisfied with mere out-of-door life, there is the social rivalry of Nice and the excitement of Monte Carlo.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sixth Year of Qwong See Celebrating Chinese New Year Chinatown San Francisco

While gratifying my curiosity, and experiencing the pleasure of study­ing the habits and customs of a strange people during the recent Chinese civil and religious festival of the new year, it occurred to me that a short article giving the result of these observations might be of interest to readers, many of whom nev­er have had, and possibly never will have, the opportunity to examine for them­selves any of the peculiarities of this alien Asiatic race at present sojourning on the shores of the Pacific, apparently unaffected by contact with our Anglo-Saxon civilization, and which, while submitting respectfully to our laws when they touch its interests, or where its outward life comes in contact with our ordinances, still retains in the land of its present resi­dence unswerving allegiance to the cus­toms and traditions of its fathers, and recognizes with loyal and orderly obedi­ence the fiats of tribunals of its own or­ganization.

English Artist Phil May

By James L. Ford.

It has been said that Mr. James Mc­Neill Whistler, on being asked" What may be the future of British art? " in­stantly replied" Phil May."

I don't think that Mr. Whistler ever really said that, because it usually takes him at least twenty four hours to evolve one of the so called "repartees" on which his fame as a wit rests; but the epigram will live, not because Mr. Whistler's name is attached to it, but because it con­tains a great big kernel of unalloyed truth. Already Mr. May is receiving, in other countries as well as his own, the recognition which he fairly deserves.

Italian Musician Giuseppe Verde Opera

By Roberto Lazzari.

Verdi had both genius and a noble character. To this happy union he owes his fame.

Giuseppe Verdi, the humble son of a poor peasant farmer, was born in 1813, in one of a cluster of little houses called "Le Roncole," situated a few miles from the town of Bussetto, near Parma, in North Italy. When he was seven years old, his father sent him to the Bussetto public school, where, though he applied himself with a will to study, he soon showed an irresistible inclination for music. After a while, the father, yielding to the plea of his son, consented to give him the advantage of lessons in music from the organist of the church of Bussetto, who was also something of an authority in counterpoint. The elder Verdi also bought for his son an old spinet. Thus the boy began his beloved occupation. He was then eight years old. All the time to be had outside of his school hours was employed in music and in reading. It may be added that, after music, reading was the passion of his life.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Moated Houses Helmingham Hall Horeham Hall Stokesay Castle Hever Castle

By W. W. Fenn.

No form of dwelling so naturally suggests a perfect sense of security as one surrounded by a moat, with a drawbridge raised or lowered at the will of the inmates, as the only means of ingress or egress. There is a sentiment in the idea which no actual facts will entirely outweigh. By the same token a nation feels that a broad interval of sea offers it better protection from invasion than any other geographical barrier however strongly fortified. We Britons experience this sensation daily, hourly; by living in

"This fortress built by nature for herself;
This precious stone set in the silver sea;
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or, as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands:"

and very reasonably do we resent any attempt to undermine or neutralize the security af­forded by our silver girdle. Thus, however much modern ordnance may have rendered the moat and the draw­bridge useless and ridiculous as institutions for armed defense, a poetic fancy still c1ings about them, and makes to this day a "mooted grange" or manor house one of the most interesting relics of architectural antiquity. Such specimens as are yet to be found in rural England attract with the force of load­stones every searcher after the picturesque; for whether the structure be actually pictur­esque or not, there is a sound about the mere words "moated grange" and the like quite irresistible, calling up as they do thoughts Especially associated with pictorial beauty, not to mention their archaeological value.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jekyl Island Georgia Jekyl Island Club J P Morgan Edwin Gould Joseph Pulitzer

By Samuel S. Williams.

In his search for a secluded spot wherein to rest his tired nerves and to escape from the strenuous American life, the modern millionaire travels the world over. But the cable and the tele­graph wire have made the playgrounds of Europe mere suburbs of New York. Aix-les-Bains and Homburg, Carlsbad and the Alpine villages, once havens of health, arc now bustling with business and social distractions. The American resorts, from Bar Harbor in the north down through the checkered list of Newport, Saratoga, Lakewood, Atlantic City, Old Point Comfort, St. Augus­tine, and Palm Beach in the south have developed the same nervous atmos­phere. No wonder the overwrought captain of industry is willing to give a fortune for a single night's peace and quiet.

American Golf in 1903 Walter J Travis Eben M Byers Findlay S Douglas

By Joseph Freeman Marsten.

When Walter J. Travis won the title of golf champion for the third time on the links of the Nassau Club, at Glen Cove, in Septem­ber last, he estab­lished his right to rank as un­questionably the foremost ama­teur golfer of America. His claim to that dis­tinction had been clouded by his ill success in the tournament of 1902, when he was put out in the third round by Eben M. Byers, who was in turn defeated by Louis N. James in the finals. This year's contest fully proved what most followers of the game had al­ways believed ­that both Travis' failure and James' victory were accidental, or at least excep­tional, and could not be regarded as fairly repre­sentative of the true form of either player.

Donald McMillan Ju-Ja Ranch British East Africa Big Game Hunting

By T. R. MacMechen.

Ju-Ja Ranch, where Mr. Roosevelt will stay for several weeks discussing with Mr. McMillan the final plans for his plunge into the wilderness, is twenty-three miles from Nairobi, the seat of government in British East Africa. The ranch is a domain of twenty thousand acres, covering a tract seven miles long that ends in a sharp angle at the con­fluence of the Athi and Tana rivers. Immediately north of Ju-Ja, in majestic view from the veranda, Mount Kenia pushes its snow-cap nineteen thousand feet high across the exact line of the equator. Between the ranch and Mount Kenia lie the swells of the big game wilderness, which runs on in a northwesterly direction toward the great volcanic escarp­ment that shields Victoria Nyanza.

Helen Miller Gould & Her Charities

By J. P. Coughland.

Every great event in the life of a nation is counted upon to bring forth a fresh gallery of heroes to relieve the pent up enthusiasms of the people. The war in Cuba and its melancholy aftermath in camp and hospital brought, among others, Miss Helen Gould, en­tirely against her own seeking, into the lime light of publicity. As soon as the chronicle of her good deeds became known, preparations for her apotheosis were begun. The American may pride himself on his reserve, but he has almost a virginal sensitiveness to gentleness, charity, and kindness. When once, through any cause, his outward armor of repression is removed, it is not diffi­cult to touch his heart, and to touch it deeply.

Helen Gould endeared herself to the American - and perhaps all the more quickly because he had been accustomed to look for only negative virtues, at best, from the Gould name - by the splendid promptness of her giving. Doubtless there were others who gave as freely as she, and many who, proportionately to their means, gave as much; but their benefactions did not seem the same. We have a way of distinguishing between that which is given with the hand and that which is given with the heart. The giving is more likely to be appreciated than the given.

In the moil and labor of Wall Street, Jay Gould battled for millions. He raided and crushed those weaker than he, and fought doggedly with those stronger. He employed every artifice of the cruel code of finance. He re­ceived many hard knocks, more than his share, perhaps, and he took them like a man, and won; but he gave blows as hard as any that he received to many who did not win. Naturally, he left many sore heads. His methods were denounced, his name bore a burden of contumely, and honor was not attrib­uted to him.

General Lew Wallace in Civil War

By Henry V. Clarke.

When President Garfield made out General Wallace's commis­sion as American minister to Turkey, he wrote across one corner of the doc­ument - the lower left hand corner, to be exact - "Ben Hur - J. A. G." The appointment was partly a trib­ute to him as the author of that re­markable book - a fact that may re­call the days when the Athenians re­warded a popular speaker or a clever playwright with the command of a fleet or an army. It was also a merited recognition of his services as a gal­lant soldier and an able administrator.

Versatility is an American charac­teristic; but it would be hard to name a parallel to the career of the man who led the bold dash upon Johnston's forces at Romney, who turned the bloody tide of battle at Fort Donelson and again at Shiloh, who saved Washington by standing all day against overwhelming odds at Monocacy, who successfully gov­erned a turbulent Territory, and who has won assured fame as a writer by work of a very high and very unique order. It almost seems as if the personality of the colonel of the famous Eleventh Indiana Zouaves and the brigadier general in command of the Middle District must be a separate one from that scholarly man of letters who writes and thinks and dreams in the quiet of his shady garden in a Western country town.

Gordon Hotels in Europe Metropole Grand Hotel Trafalgar Hotel Victoria

During the last ten years there has been a great im­provement in hotel accom­modation in Europe - particularly in London. The British capital has been attracting a larger number of visitors every season. It is not only that there is much to see in the greatest city of the world itself, but London is the natural starting ­place for visits throughout England and Scotland, and the convenient stopping place for American visitors going to and coming from Conti­nental Europe. English enterprise was not early in recognizing the importance of London as a hotel center for summer birds of passage, and for the increasing number of well-to-do people drawn from distant parts of the British Empire, or com­ing from European coun­tries to London either for business or pleasure. But now London does not lack first class hotels. It is to the enterprise and good management of Mr. Frederick Gordon that London owes the development of its great modern hotels. Mr. Gordon is the President of the Gordon Company, which owns the large group of hotels named after him.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Maria Van Ness Washington D. C. Van Ness Mansion General John P. Van Ness

When Congress, at its sec­ond session, held at New York in the mid-summer of 1790, voted to give to George Washington the selection of a site on the Potomac for the nation­al capital, that selection was not only left to the successful General, who had just brought the nation safely through the fires of Revolution, but to the Surveyor, who, as a young man, had spent his early life mapping out the plantations on its banks. Nearly forty years before, young Washington, accompanying Braddock to his sad defeat, had encamped on the very spot where the Washington Observatory now stands. As the young aid­-de-camp looked out from the door of his tent at even-tide, he remarked on the favorable character of such a location for the site of a great city. Since that day, Arlington, so beautiful for situation that de Tocqueville has said that no place in Europe possessed a lovelier prospect, had come into his possession by marriage. No day passed that he did not look across the stately Potomac upon those forest-bearing hills, now crowned by the public buildings of the Capitol, and crowded with the homes of more than a hundred thousand people. Those hills rose just across the river against the lower edge of his own plantation, and the two families that lived opposite each other, often exchanged visits; and on Sundays they always met in the Episcopal church of Alexandria. His daily contemplation of this place made him fully aware of its natural advantages as the site of the future metropolis. The two branches of the Potomac, between which the city is situated, promised ample room for that commerce which the first President always expected to centralize in his favorite city. Alexandria and Georgetown, places of large size for that day of small things, were to constitute its suburbs, and were expected to be, as they have been, swallowed up in the superior greatness of their common center. Nor is it unlikely that that observant mind was at all unconscious of the influ­ence of the proximity of a large city on the value of the plantation belonging to his wife, on which he then lived, and which was afterwards to descend to his foster­ children, the Custises.

Sanford B. Dole - President of Hawaii

Rulers sometimes meet as host and guest, but it is seldom that the official head of a government goes abroad upon a business errand. President Dole's visit to the United States is an incident of a sort that is rare in diplomatic annals, and one that shows the supreme impor­tance to Hawaii of the mission on which he came. Still more unique is the fact that what is understood to be his purpose is to terminate the existence of his own government, and surrender the independ­ence of his diminutive country. If he succeeds, he will go down in history as the first and last President of Hawaii.