Saturday, October 27, 2012

Artist Alphons-Marie Mucha

By Lillian I. Harris

"February 1, 1897.
Alfons-Marie Mucha
"MY DEAR MUCHA, — You ask me to present you to the Parisian public. Well, my dear friend, take my advice, exhibit your works; they will speak for you. I know my dear Parisian public. The delicacy of your design, the originality of your composi­tion, the admirability of your posters and your paintings, all that will charm it, and after your exhibition I predict for you fame. "My two hands in yours, dear friend
Mucha.            "SARAH BERN HARDT."

This it is, and not the noble uplift which he has given decorative art, not the fact that he is now in this country with the intention of becoming a naturalized citi­zen; not even his recent visit of over a month to Chicago and the Middle West with its inevitable influence on contempo­rary art; not so much the man himself, but his work that makes him of interest to the laity. Hence the accompanying typical examples must excite the interest of the most hypercritical by their beauty of conception, their delicacy of handling, and their almost sensuous feeling of deco­rative quality.

Preeminently a decorator of surfaces, with a field restricted to a certain extent by the limitations of decoration, Alfons-Marie Mucha, is yet a painter as well. Our secondary interest in the man himself is increased by the life he has led, the obsta­cles overcome to win success, mad the ex­ample he sets to those canting Ones who decry commercial art. For the major share of the work he has done distin­guishes him as the greatest of those who have applied their art to practical pur­poses, yet his recent achievements put him in the rank of the foremost painters.

Jane Addams Hull House Chicago

Jane Addams Hull House Chicago
By Graham Taylor

Jane Addams
To those who look upon her from without, Miss Addams may be social demo­crat, peacemaker, citizen, philanthropist, either one or all in one. But to each of the inner circle of her friends, whose lives have been enriched and the horizon of whose vision has been enlarged and enlightened by her friendship, she is Interpreter. It is not so much by what she says, or even by what she thinks, as by what she is that she herself is recognized to be an interpretation of life. And the charm and reality of it all is in the fact that both she and you are alike uncon­scious of any interpreter's presence, and that both are conscious only of trying to learn the meaning of life.

A crippled old man who had been long isolated from the neighborhood life in the densely populated district around Hull House was asked if he knew many of his neighbors. "Very few now," he replied, "but Miss Addams knows me," he added. "You know she lives here with us and she always seems to be more conscious of everyone else who lives around here than she is of herself."

That sense of identification with others, with the group, the class, the race-life, quite as much as with each one constituting it, is the open secret not only of her influence with others but of her capacity to interpret them to herself and to each other. She not only has this sense of being identified with others, but she also gives others the sense of being identified with her.

This constitutes her democracy and makes her its most prophetic interpreter. For she is the thing she interprets, and she inter­prets it by being it. Moreover, it was her birthright, which she made her own. She is her father's daughter and he was a friend and fellow-worker with Abraham Lincoln in the struggle to share and spread the freedom of their Prairie State. She was her father's companion, and together they kept company with the spirit and thought of Joseph Maz­zini, prophet and martyr of democracy.

James Cardinal Gibbons Archbishop of Baltimore


By Rev. John Talbot Smith

James Cardinal Gibbons
Forty years ago most observers would not have given the Rev. James Gibbons more than ten years of life. Although a healthy man, his frail appearance suggested an early departure from this world. Yet the cardinal has arrived at threescore and ten with a buoyancy of spirit and elasticity of limb worthy of the most robust. He is so thin that age does not show its prog­ress on his attenuated form. It is the common opinion of his friends and neighbors that he may rival the years of the late Pope Leo without perceptible change.

In clerical circles a good story of the contrast between the cardinal and the massive Archbishop of Philadelphia has been told. The two prelates were bathing at Cape May, in the regular bathing-suits, Dr. Ryan large and resplendent, and Dr. Gibbons lean and insignificant.

"What a splendid man," said a lady on the beach, as she gazed on Dr. Ryan, "and what a misfortune to see him mated with such a miserable creature of a wife!"

Unfortunately, the cardinal has de­nounced this story on three grounds: He has never bathed at Cape May, he has never bathed in company with Dr. Ryan, and he has never taken a sea-bath.

AN EXPONENT OF THE SIMPLE LIFE

The simple life may take the credit of Cardinal Gibbons' longevity. He has been a steady worker, and for the better part of his life in trying conditions. He traveled the Carolinas when railroads were unknown, and the bridle-path did duty for the road. Missionary life in that region has always been full of hard­ship, and the future cardinal had four years of it as a traveling bishop.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

William Gillette, Actor and Playwright

William Gillette, Actor and Playwright
 By Richard Duffy

William Gillette.

This man, who looked as though he could get a living with his hands if his brain failed him, sat beside me during a per­formance of "Sherlock Holmes." After the thrilling gas chamber scene he followed me out to the lobby, where he lighted a cigar­ette with a hand that one time perhaps had grappled a hook. But he must have forged beyond that, for he was well-dressed, and had paid two dollars for his seat. He spoke to me abruptly, yet as though we had been in conversation for hours.

"I seen Gillette in every show putty near. I seen him in funny plays and in sad plays, and he fills out a whole season in New York every go. He's the easiest winner in the business."

That's just it. Ever since the days of "The Professor" and "The Private Secre­tary" Gillette seems to have "won out easy." His facile success is the more notice­ able in his serious plays, in which some peo­ple refuse to believe that he is acting at all. He is so natural, and yet, when you think of the countless little by-plays and poses in which the most prosaic indulge every day, this being natural is rather strenuous work. But if you are bound to believe that Gil­lette's naturalness is no effort, you must re­member also that he writes his own plays. To write a play frequently requires the heads of two men, and always that of the stage manager. Gillette is also his own stage manager. He picks his casts and has discovered unnumbered new stage effects and contrivances. He invented the mechan­ism first used to imitate the gallop of a horse in "Held by the Enemy." An im­provement on this property is the admirable imitation of the approach of a hansom in the final act of "Sherlock Holmes." In "Sher­lock Holmes" also is introduced that charming effect of shutting off the stage in abso­lute darkness at each curtain cue. When the lights are opened again the curtain is down.

Arizona Outlaw Pearl Hart

Pearl Hart reading over her statement

The evolution of the new woman takes many strange phases. A late and unique one is that of her appearance in the character of Dick Turpin. There have been many female stage-robbers in books and stories, but only one in the flesh. Viewed psycho­logically, the statement of such a woman is curious. Starting with one of the hum­drum tragedies that are lived in so many lives, the story of her life is told by herself until it reaches the startling climax with which telegraphic reports have made us familiar. Pearl Hart, the woman who "held up" the Globe stage at Cane Springs Canon, Arizona, on May 30th of this year in company with a male partner, had lived the hard life of the frontier after a disastrous matrimonial experience beginning when she was but sixteen years old. She claims that she was driven to desperation by news of the dangerous illness of her mother. She had no money. She could get none, although she tried in various ways, until, finally, familiar with the exploits of the Western Dick Turpins, she determined to imitate them. She is a small woman, weigh­ing less than a hundred pounds, with features of the most common type. Donning a set of man's clothes and taking the necessary revolver, and securing a male companion, she appeared on the highway. The leveled revolvers quickly brought the coach and its occupants to a standstill. Then, under the cool eye of this bit of a creature, the passengers handed over some four hundred dollars. The attempt to escape, the chase, and the capture that followed—the whole story furnishes an interesting side-light on life in the Southwest.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Big Bell of Golden Pagoda Burma

Big Bell of Golden Pagoda Burma
By Edward W. May

Golden Pagoda. At right the Pavilion of the Big Bell

You must leap in fancy, leagues and leagues over strange lands and stran­ger seas, into the proper territory of that marvel-maker Kipling, whose tales and verse you love so well. You must set your steps straight on the road from Man­dalay and keep a staunch stride until you find yourself in the heart of Rangoon. Here halt, and gaze in reverential awe upon the Golden Pagoda. The Buddhist shrine means little to your first glance, as St. Peter's at Rome would mean little to a servant of Buddha. Try to feel that in the Golden Pagoda you are considering the St. Peter's of the faithful worshipper of Buddha.

Not many paces to one side a pavilion of rich and curious architecture lifts itself slowly toward the sky. In the sun the gold crest of the pavilion shines dazzlingly and with its brilliant flare gives a wel­come to the far-off ships bearing down the river Irrawaddy. On the ship's deck are strangers bound to visit this rare domain. Inside this gorgeous pavilion is hung the big bell of Burma, the biggest bell, doubtless, in all the broad world. From top to bottom and all around the exterior surface the bell is graven with signs and letters of the people. Inside the dome ten of the tallest and stoutest giants of a football eleven may stand comfortably and with full breathing space. The tallest of these, and he of most extensive, reach, may stretch forth his right arm till his muscles twinge and the blood in his finger-tips prick his skin, and he will barely touch the sharp rim of the big bell. There is no clapper to the bell. From the outside swings a tremendous bronze beam, falling with rhythmic beat on the heart of the bell and sending forth shuddering a message of faith to just and unjust, to pious and impious. For many miles the melody vibrates on the clear air. No bell is so rare in sound, none so rich in memory; and each succes­sive tone stirs the store of recollection in the minds of the worshipful.

A Ride On The Trans-Siberian Railroad In 1899


By John W. Bookwalter

The Trans-Siberian railroad, like all railways in Russia, is well construc­ted, the road-bed firm, the track well ballasted, generally with stone, at least as far as Tscheljabinsk, and the gradients easy. The road has a five-foot gauge, uniform with all the roads in European Russia. This gives an ample breadth to the cars, which, with their unusual height, imparts an air of comfort not possessed by roads of narrower gauge and less height of ceiling in the car. The bridges are almost wholly of iron, save a few of the original and temporary ones, which are rapidly being replaced. Those over the Irtish, Ishim, Obi, Tobol, Omsk and Tom Rivers, I found to be well con­structed, of the best material and most approved modern pattern. The stations, always artistic and picturesque, and never of the same style, are neat, comfortable, substantial, and of good size, fully equal to the average depot on the New York Central or Pennsylvania railroads.

It is a delight to take a meal in the station restaurants. On entering the din­ing-room, you will find at one end an im­mense sideboard literally groaning under a load of newly prepared Russian dishes, always piping hot, and of such a be­wildering variety as to range through the whole gamut of human fancy and tastes. You are given a plate, with a knife and fork. Making your own selection, you re­tire to any of the neatly spread tables to enjoy your meal at your leisure, and, I might add, with infinite zest, for travel in this country, besides pleasing the eye, quickens the appetite. The price, too, is a surprise to one accustomed to metropoli­tan charges. You can get soup, as fine a beefsteak as you ever ate, a splendid roast chicken whole, cook­ed in Rus­sian style, most tooth­some and juicy, pota­toes and other vege­tables, a bot­tle of beer, splendid and brewed in this country, for one ruble —about fifty cents.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Evolution of the United States Army Signal Corps


By General A. W. Greeley
Chief Signal Officer, USA

General Greeley in his Office at the War Department
It may seem incredible, but it is none the 1 less true that in an electric age which daily garners the news of the earth for commercial and popular use, the question of instantaneous communications, as an impor­tant war factor, has failed fully to impress itself on either European or American tac­ticians. In the United States the standard textbooks of the American army, "Security and Information" and "Art of War," con­tain not even a page of matter on electrical communications.

This condition of affairs in America may be said to emphasize only the fact that we are a peaceful nation, and have been content to ignore advances in the science of war. In Europe, however, where progress in military science is considered scarcely second to that of commerce or industry, there has been, on the part of recognized authorities, a similar lack of appreciation as to the great value of electrical communications in war.

In Germany the latest and most important exposition on war factors and their practical application is found in Lieutenant-General von der Goltz's "Conduct of War," which does not contain even a paragraph on the tactical or strategical value of telegraphic or telephonic communications. Derrecagaix, the French writer, in "Modern War," bare­ly alludes to the subject in less than a dozen lines.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Brigadier General Charles King Soldier and Author

By Forrest Crissey

Brigadier General Charles King
First meetings with novelists are often disappointing. The failure of the maker of stories personally to fulfill the ex­pectations of the interested layman, is prob­ably most frequently due to the fact that the latter has, in some measure, imputed to the creator the qualities of the creation, unconsciously looking to find in the novelist the charms with which he has invested some striking character in the pages of his ro­mance.

No such disappointment, however, awaits any reader of Gen. King's stories who may be fortunate enough personally to meet the celebrated soldier-novelist. The best traits of character in the bravest heroes which he has pictured in his marvelous stories of frontier chivalry are instantly to be dis­cerned in his face by the stranger who has lived with the heroes of his creating.

The military side of Gen. King's character is so dominant that it is difficult to realize, while in his presence, the fact that he be­longs to the literary cult. He looks a sol­dier, and he is a soldier. If anything can be added to this description by way of bringing the personality more vividly before the eyes of the reader, it may be said that the most stirring act of heroism described in any story he has written is more than paralleled by his life as a soldier.

The records have it that Gen. King was born fifty-five years ago, but there is not a line in his countenance or his figure which would appear remotely to confirm this statement. He is erect, active and alert, and is more frequently thought to be under forty-five years of age than over fifty. No observant stranger who chanced to pass him upon the street would fail to rec­ognize him as a military man. He is today as fond of athletic sports as when he was a leader of his associates in the stirring pastimes into which he entered with all the dash, energy and devotion of a potential soldier when in training at West Point. Although he still maintains an unfaltering loyalty to the horse, and is never so happy as when in the saddle, he is an enthusiastic wheelman, and is able to do a century run with the best riders in Milwaukee, the city which has long been his home.

Businessman William C. Whitney

By George L. Fielder

William C. Whitney
Three hundred years of the most rapid progress in all lines of human activity separate us from the day when d'Ar­tagnan, an awkward, half-grown youth, astride his haggard yellow pony, rode into the city of Meung amid the laughter of the citizens. The Three Musketeers of Dumas rode and fought in the period when war was an elegant art. In our day, business is the most highly developed of arts; our heroes fight with stocks and properties, and they ride in steam yachts or in private cars. Epics are done in syndicating the bowels of the earth; romances may be read in the handling of public commodities. Thus we have our Ulysses and our Achilles handling the yield of the earth, and in railways our Musketeers. And of the last in charm above them all stands d'Artagnan, the man who does business as the other fought, daringly, astutely and picturesquely, but always with the greatest possible pleasure in the task. This man is William C. Whitney.

And yet Mr. Whitney's real business career did not begin until he was forty-five years old.

Today he is fifty-nine. He was born at Conway, Massachusetts, July 15, 1841. His parents were descendants of the earliest Puritans, and his father was Brigadier-General James Scolley Whitney. The family was well-to-do, and both sons were sent to Yale. The people of Conway used to say of these boys that they were sure to amount to something, although William C. was quite a puzzle to them. He was only eighteen when he entered Yale, where he gave tokens of the characteristics that have stood out prominently in his business achievements.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Politician James Hamilton Lewis

Politician James Hamilton Lewis
By E. D. Cowen

Colonel James Hamilton Lewis
Human nature and the Constitution of the United States render it possible for queer and freaky mortals to epito­mize their inexplicable careers in the bio­graphical records of Congress. Whatever distrust may be aroused as to the want of dignity and perception in the electors, every appearance of a curio Congressman at the scene of federal legislation at least affords an agreeable subject to students of the law of proportion in politics, and stimulates that sense of humor which is as leaven to the strenuous national life.

While James Hamilton Lewis, of Wash­ington, is not to be considered in the class of the sockless Kansan and the Texas gas-blower, he is the most picturesque example of success in American politics. Any con­scientious review of his life and character must seem maliciously exaggerated. He was a Fusion fop; a campaign incongruity who polled the largest vote of any candidate on his ticket. He strutted in the polychromatic fal-lals of a cake-walk champion, and won the adherence of every bewhiskered and un­washed Jacobin of his state. When he began his Thrasonic bombardment of Congress he was pointed out as a magniloquent absurdity; yet he made bold to aspire to Democratic leadership on the floor. Manifestly an artic­ulate, ambulant vanity, he obtained an un­accountable influence over members on both sides. Newspaper row gridironed him daily and grew fonder of the delighted victim. Paragraphers embalmed him as a congres­sional joke, little thinking that recognition of whatever sort was the acme of his aspir­ations. And, after all, when the same Fusion combination that nominated and elected him in 1896 went down in the defeat of 1898, he again polled the largest vote on the ticket. Meanwhile, within the brief period of one term in the lower house he had achieved na­tional notoriety. Now he is renascent as a congressional candidate.

What is the force, the strength, the at­tractiveness of the man? Any answer to such a question not predicated on the gulli­bility of the voting majority, would be superficial. On the other hand, Lewis is to be accredited with remarkable intuition and in­sight. He is studied in both the diagnosis and the therapeutics of human weakness. He is like a specialist in the treatment of an organic disease with which he is unsen­tiently afflicted. He is a master in the art of pandering to the egotism of others, and as skillful as the most accomplished actor in simulating sympathy. Two infirmities are the poles of his political strength; his mania for self-advertising and his jocular disregard of the truth. Throughout his singular progress may be traced a radiant reliance on human credulity, which is in itself incredulous.

Composer John Philip Sousa

Composer John Philip Sousa
By Henry T. Gardner

John Philip Sousa
“I believe that God intended me for a I musician, and I call it the luckiest thing in the world that I can make my living by doing what I want to do."

That is how John Philip Sousa looks at his success. He hasn't a word to say about how much money he makes a year, or how much he is worth, though one may guess that it is a considerable sum. No doubt, it is far less than what would be considered a success in the financial world, but then think what a lot of money it must take to make a man happy whose profession is getting rich! If he takes any pleasure at all, it must be out of office hours, for he cannot enjoy himself at his business. When he starts out in life, any occupation will do to begin with so long as there is a chance of making money at it, whereas, the Arcadian is happy if he gets a chance to work at his trade of poetry or painting or music, or whatever it is, and is miserable when he cannot work at it. If he can make a good living, insure his life for $10,000, and be assured that the world ap­preciates and likes his work then there is no one on earth he would trade places with. But most of all it is popular approval he wants. The successful Arcadian never dreams of saying with the successful financier: "The public be damned!" Such a sentiment with him would be rank atheism.

Some will tell you that the only thing the American people really care for is money. Never was there a greater error. The Ameri­can people do care for money more than any other people on earth, but more than any other people on earth they care for it be­cause it will buy food for the soul. A rich man that loves money too much for itself, that does not have fine pictures and statues, rare books and glorious music, that does not endow colleges and universities, that does not help somebody to get an education, that does nothing to forward the intellectual life of the nation, is little thought of. The char­acter dear to the American heart is the poor boy of Arcadian birth who wants to be a poet or a painter, who must be that or break his heart, who struggles on through fire and water to attain to his goal, never letting his eyes off it for a second. When he succeeds, the whole world claps its hands with joy. It applauds success of any kind, it is true, but not with its whole heart. The Jay Goulds and the Russell Sages do not greatly charm it. Neither do the young men that start out with $100,000 and by great industry make it $100,000,000. The ideal hero is the one that has a hard time of it in his boyhood, that wants to be something artistic. People laugh at him; they say he will starve to death; they won't listen to him, but he grits his teeth and vows: "They shall hear me!" and then one day they find out that he is great, and everybody runs after him, and he has a good time and sees his name in the papers every morn­ing. That's the hero for our money.

Phoebe A Hearst

By Mabel Clare Craft

Phoebe A. Hearst
California has been fortunate in her women. Her men have been intent on getting wealth; her women equally in­terested in distributing it. California pio­neers gathered easily and spent as they gathered. They were not too scrupulous; they lived recklessly and wore themselves out while in their prime, leaving to their widows huge fortunes. These widows, al­most without exception, have turned their backs on society and on display. They have cultivated ideals beyond mere family ag­grandizement. Mrs. Phoebe Hearst's ideal has been education.

Like most state universities, California University was poorly endowed. It was rich­ly gifted with land, and it had some pro­ductive assets, but it had not been as gener­ously supported as it deserved. Its buildings were ramshackle, and had never, even in youth, been anything but hideous. Its grounds were unkempt and neglected, though its site is one of the most beautiful in the world. Each Legislature in turn promised to do something for it, but, in the end, the economical country members and the city delegates, more interested in the corner saloon than in the higher education, knifed its appropriation and left it several years behind its needs.

It was in such a crisis that Mrs. Hearst came to save the university. She had been known as an exceedingly gentle and refined woman, an accomplished hostess, a traveler, a club woman, extremely generous and par­ticularly interested in all that pertained to women and children. She had been a gener­ous supporter of kindergartens, boys' clubs, college settlement work and of all that tended to equalize social conditions by rais­ing the submerged third or fourth to a higher level. This work had been done quietly, without blare of trumpets. There were many in her own city who never dreamed that Mrs. Hearst's ideals were be­yond those of the ordinary woman of society who chooses to dabble in charitable work. She had spent much time away from Cali­fornia. While her husband represented Cali­fornia in the United States Senate, Mrs. Hearst made her home in Washington, where her entertainments were justly celebrated. While her son was in Harvard University, Mrs. Hearst spent several winters in Boston. She frequently traveled abroad. In San Francisco, she had been the first president of the Century Club, one of the pioneer clubs for women in the city. At Washington she had been prominent in the Mother's Con­gress. Her interest in the University of California, with which her fame is so closely bound, began in the women students of the institution.

Sir William Van Horne Builder of Canadian Pacific Railway

By Henry Harrison Lewes
  
Sir William Van Horne
He was brought up on an Illinois farm; became a telegraph operator and then went into the railroad business. He has accomplished the most difficult feat of railroad building ever recorded, and has been knighted by the Queen of England.

The general manager's make-shift private car had been standing on the stub-nosed spur since early morning, an object of awe and reverence to the army of Siwash and Chinese railroad laborers summoned from far and near in anticipation of a catas­trophe.

Rising winds and the melting snows of spring had revived a score of mountain streamlets, changing them almost in a breath from purling brooks to menacing torrents, and causing them to bear impetuously to­ward a certain locality given on the map as Stoney Creek.

It was here in the very heart of the Cana­dian Rockies that the giant trestle of the new road had stretched its wooden legs across from bank to bank like some great spider. And it was because of the fear that the costly framework—the framework which formed a necessary link between two im­portant sections of the road building—would be imperiled by the rising waters that armies of laborers had been moved by night, that officials of every degree, and that even he, known familiarly as the "old man," has­tened on foot, on construction trains and by private car to the scene.

The work, the hurry, the bustle of these pigmies with their rough costumes, rougher speech and queer machines, were strangely out of place in this spot. The silent moun­tains closed in about them as if to hide, their iconoclastic work. Interminable stretches of snow and ice glinted above them. Forests of pine and spruce and masses of hardy brush carpeted the lower levels of the great canyon. Gusts of wind sweeping down from above sent the smoke of the locomotives swirling in arabesques.